astronomy Physics Science worldview

Amateur Rocket Shows the Curvature of the Planet from 56 Miles Altitude

A team of amateur rocketeers show us what they did on their first test flight without any help from NASA. They built a two-stage amateur rocket which flew to 293,488 ft (55.6 mi/89.5 km). This rocket is called MESOS (short for mesosphere) because it is designed to fly there. The mesosphere is the third layer of Earth’s atmosphere situated between 31 and 53 miles (50-85 km) above the surface. The amazing part about this rocket is it reached this altitude on less than 41,000 N-s of total impulse (full O-class high power rocket motor)! Capable of carrying the equivalent of a 16 oz can of beer/energy drink as a payload, this rocket flew two GoPro Hero 9s cameras with modified rectilinear lenses. Both stages are recovered via parachutes and are reusable. This video covers the development and the launch of this record breaking rocket. I hope you enjoy it!

All you Flat Earth nuts out there cannot say NASA lied on this one. The MESOS team used two cameras with rectlinear lenses so you cannot claim that it is an effect of fish-eye lenses.

The second stage of the rocket reached an apogee of 293,488 ft (55.6 mi/89.5 km). That is the highest point of the parabolic flight path above the earth’s surface. You’ll notice the blackness of space because above 31 miles (50 km) the atmosphere is extremely low density and it does not scatter sunlight. The thin blue haze above the surface is the atmosphere. It shows how thin that layer is compared to the diameter of the planet.

The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.

Psalm 19:1 KJVER

Notice also that the second stage of the rocket never bumped into the solid dome of the alleged firmament that the FE followers falsely claim the Bible says is up there. The word “firmament” (firmamentum in Latin) is translated from the Hebrew word “raqia” which means “expanse”, which is not some solid dome. Though the Hebrew word “raqia” does connote “hammered” or “stamped out” like beaten metal. As a physicist I would suggest that this is God’s description for the cosmic substratum which is extremely dense in virtual particle energy coming from the vacuum. That means it still contains energy — a lot of energy.

Space above 50 km altitude is an extremely good vacuum and as such matter can move through it. But it is extremely rigid in terms of space. Nevertheless it is not a layer which is impenetrable.

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

3 replies on “Amateur Rocket Shows the Curvature of the Planet from 56 Miles Altitude”

My responses to Timothy who emailed me. His questions are shown in // …. //

//I understand that there is much empirical evidence that the earth is a globe but if so, why would Jesus need to ascend up to the sky on the way to heaven when He was ascending?

If we take the flat earth cosmology and the concept that heaven is above the earth, then it makes sense for Jesus to ascend upwards. And also Elijah.

But if we take the modern cosmology, then for Jesus to get to heaven, He would have to ascend upwards to the sky and then teleport to another dimension (heaven) since heaven wouldn’t be in the sky. But then He could just as easily have teleported to heaven from standing on the earth. The whole idea of ascending to the sky first and then teleporting to heaven is superfluous and unnecessary, and it only perpetuates in the minds of the people watching him the belief (which would be erroneous in the view of modern cosmology) that heaven is above the earth. Then it is natural to ask, why would Jesus purposely lend credibility to an erroneous belief by travelling to heaven in that unnecessary way (going up to the sky first and then teleporting) rather than just teleporting from earth if He knew better that heaven is in another dimension and not directly above the earth?//

Jesus lived in Israel and after Pentecost He was seen ascending to heaven. That means locally He rose into the sky with the clouds of witnesses (angels). Locally we have up and down as defined by the direction which objects fall, or which trees grow against the local gravitational field. Scripture also uses the sky to symbolise heaven or below the earth’s surface to symbolise hell, but really those concepts are spiritual and might be better described by crossing into another dimension.

//Similarly one can ask why the builders of the tower of Babel thought they could reach heaven. Perhaps they did not know much but it would seem that close to the time of Adam and Noah, people may have known more things.//

Again locally up is to the sky. Nimrod believed that God lived in heaven and associated the sky as the abode of God, but we now know that the sky, “the open firmament of heaven” (Genesis 1:20), where birds fly, is a metaphor for God’s true heaven a spiritual realm.

//Also, if the New Jerusalem is a cube, it cannot land on the new earth if the new earth is a globe. So at least, the new earth cannot be like our model. Unless the New Jerusalem is only denoting some spiritual concept.//

What makes you think New Jerusalem is a cube? To have equal height as width could also mean it is a pyramid. The Egyptians perhaps were trying to build the heavenly city in their pyramids. They are four-sided pyramids the same way the heavenly city is described (Revelation 21:16).

Nevertheless after God renovates the surface of the Earth He could easily land the city on the planet surface and modify the base to suit any curvature. After all He is God the omnipotent Creator. God would also have to modify the local gravitational field considering the unbalanced forces it would introduce, being so large.

I believe the city is real but also it is spiritual. John says it is the bride adorned for her husband, Jesus (Revelation 21:2).

//This whole situation is so crazy that I wonder sometimes if I live in a simulation on the new earth outside the New Jerusalem and that the time period is already Revelation 21 and 22.//

Not yet there. There will be no detestable thing or person in the city, only God’s chosen one whose names are written in the book of life (Revelation 21:27)

If you are saved you will freely enter the city. If you are not saved you will never live in the heavenly city or on the New Earth. The unsaved are those who are detestable to the Lord and they will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). No saved person is detestable because they are covered by the blood of Jesus. God cannot see their sin anymore; it is totally gone. Hallelujah!

Please read Will Jesus return literally in the clouds?


Recently I’ve been telling Flat Earthers, “If the earth is flat, why can’t I see the sun at night? Simple geometry tells me I should be able to see it.” That seems to shut them up. There is no reasonable answer they can give me. Flat earthers cling to their pseudoscience as a result of groupthink. It’s no different than a cult


Anyone who flew the Concord in the 70’s and 80’s saw the curvature of the earth. Why is this still being debated? There are many mysteries to life, this is not one of them. The earth is a marble.


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