Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Skydiver To Break Sound Barrier During Free-Fall

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the some-velocities-are-more-terminal-than-others dept.

Transportation 311

Hugh Pickens writes "Over fifty years ago, American Joe Kittinger made history by leaping from a balloon at 102,800 ft, and although many have sought to repeat the feat, all have failed. Now, BBC reports that Austrian extreme sportsman Felix Baumgartner will try to break the long-standing record for the highest ever parachute jump, skydiving from a balloon sent to at least 120,000 ft, and it is likely that 35 seconds into in his long free-fall of more than five minutes, he will exceed the speed of sound — the first person to do so without the aid of a machine. 'No-one really knows what that will be like,' says Baumgartner. Although challenges in the endeavor include coping with freezing temperatures and ultra-thin air, a key objective for Baumgartner will be to try to maintain a good attitude during the descent and prevent his body from going into a spin and blacking out. 'The fact is you have a lot of different airflows coming around your body; and some parts of your body are in supersonic flow and some parts are in transonic flow. What kind of reaction that creates, I can't tell you,' adds Baumgartner."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I'll bet (4, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870042)

It's really going to hurt.

Re:I'll bet (5, Funny)

kojimoto_atusis (566124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870172)

It's really going to hurt.

I'm just going to say... Best Darwin award EVER!

Re:I'll bet (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870746)

How do I look? Like a hood ornament. Rocketman

The real question is ... (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870196)

... will he bounce?

Re:The real question is ... (0, Offtopic)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870534)

... will he bounce?

Will he blend?

Though the post-bounce remains might have an appearance similar to post-blend.

I can tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870048)

It will really fuck you up.

-- Will Farrell

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870068)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled
properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have
purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial
configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another
nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking
that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a
chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped
in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be
hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your
nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and
over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus,
Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar,
and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your
nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some
owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and
Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight
over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and
vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases
with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others
make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so
you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue.
Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't
hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing
interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for
health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This
is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not
done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make
sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger
food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of
cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two
hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft
ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out
of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the
cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to
now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape.
As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it
did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be
safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with
black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should
therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost
certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt,
and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it
finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners
sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at
the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well
and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation
reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal
something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't
have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You
should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it
stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You
would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton.
You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most
prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which
have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around
all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good
runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction
if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe*
your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the
cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat,
etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who
won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete
with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can
before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger
to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every
day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ
of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight.
Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and
come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until
around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it
regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy
include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants
down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers
thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense
enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are
cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now
and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and
niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your
other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a
day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie
your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle,
then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of
enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart.
To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his
head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the
fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing
on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in
the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the
PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a
variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans.
WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years
too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in
fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the
drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and
dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are
we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any
white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If
niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out
their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent
(until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color
you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models
of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of
them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with
a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like
a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of
it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger
storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

no sound = no sound barrier (0)

knappe duivel (914316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870070)

Funny... breaking the sound barrier when there is no sound

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (0)

auric_dude (610172) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870088)

In space no one can hear you scream.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (5, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870146)

If there's enough atmosphere to lift a balloon, there's enough atmosphere to transmit sound.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (2, Insightful)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870178)

If there's enough atmosphere to lift a balloon, there's enough atmosphere to transmit sound.

And the balloon would also be the machine he is 'not getting aid from.' he will exceed the speed of sound — the first person to do so without the aid of a machine. (from the /. story)

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (2, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870192)

Right, a balloon is not a machine. Way to be redundant.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870202)

Meh, it's a question of technicalities. Gravity is the force that will cause him to break the sound barrier (and perhaps the thin air - lack of resistance). A machine will not be used to accelerate him. It will give him tremendous potential energy, however. Anybody want to calculate that?

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (4, Funny)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870386)

If my calculations are correct, it's 623 ergs/quartic coloumb-acre.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (2, Interesting)

shabtai87 (1715592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870388)

PE = mgh ~= 76Kg*10m/s^2*120000ft*0.3m/ft = 27,360,000Nm. This is the equivalent energy of a man the same weight traveling at about 848m/s: over twice the speed of sound. (to be fair I used the minimal mass of the average human male) I consider this significant help from technology.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870554)

Yeah, but gravitational acceleration at 120 thousand feet is

6.67300e-11 * 5.9742e24 / (6378.1e3 + 36576)**2 = 9.6883859579477978

Who's the smart one, now?

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (3, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870566)

Apparently you never learned about significant figures.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1)

cheftw (996831) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870648)

This assumes a spherical earth and neglects relativistic effects.
Also those decimal places are wrong,

The smart one may not be who you think it is.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870400)

Meh, it's a question of technicalities. Gravity is the force that will cause him to break the sound barrier (and perhaps the thin air - lack of resistance). A machine will not be used to accelerate him. It will give him tremendous potential energy, however. Anybody want to calculate that?

About 26 megajoule.
(If you want to check the calculation: His weight is 73 kg [redbulletin.com] )

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (3, Interesting)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870452)

His potential energy at 120,000 feet would be...ummm, let's see...120,000 foot-pounds per pound of suited-up weight. Tough calculation.

More to the point, let's say he intends to go sonic at 20,000 feet. In falling 100,000 feet he'd reach a speed of 2530 ft/sec if there were no air drag. The speed of sound at that altitude is 1036 ft/sec, so he has a chance, depending on how little drag he can achieve.

As he comes down in altitude, the drag and the speed of sound both go up, so it becomes a much harder calculation. There is an abrupt drag rise right around Mach 1, so there's a significant chance he could stabilize at, say, Mach 0.98 and be unable to accelerate further.

rj

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1, Insightful)

qzak (1115661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870292)

Not just that, but undoubtedly he'll have a suit to keep him from freezing and an oxygen supply to keep him from passing out. So if you want to be pedantic, he has plenty of 'machines' aiding him, but nothing with a motor, which I think was the point.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1)

shabtai87 (1715592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870404)

Actually, I wonder about the heat from the friction of the air for that long. in addition to the freezing temperatures prior to high velocity.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870304)

Presumably, he's planning on leaping from the balloon when it reaches its maximum altitude for the flight and is about to start it's inevitable descent. At that point his vertical velocity will be pretty near zero and so other than any residual lateral drift coming from the balloon any speed achieved will be entirely due to the influence of gravity. What isn't clear is whether he will be exceeding speed of sound at sea level, or just at his current altitude during the descent as well (it's not possible to do the former without also doing the latter).

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (2, Informative)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870470)

I'm sure they mean the speed of sound at his particular altitude. Joe Kittenger reached 614 mph during his freefall in the 1960, which is roughly Mach 0.8 at sea level. At around 35,000 feet the speed of sound drops to around 650 mph. At higher altitudes, the speed of sound actually increases for awhile.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870546)

Oh, there will be lateral drift due to the wind at maximum altitude, versus the wind at every altitude below that.

For reference, the speed of sound is _slower_ at higher altitudes. There is a chart at http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/atmosphere/q0112.shtml [aerospaceweb.org] . And for him to achieve transonic speeds for parts of his body but not other parts, he'll be breaking the local sound barrier.

Breaking the sound barrier also produces a _profound_ braking effect: you wind up providing tremendous power to compress the medium in front of you. All that energy that goes into the shock wave and the turbulence as you pass through the medium and the "sonic boom" itself, is a continuing drain on your kinetic energy. So I suspect his speed will max out at or barely above the sound barrier, and he'll certainly slow more rapidly as he hits thicker air and experiences more drag, slowing all the way to his freefall velocity in the denser air. That depends a lot on the shape of his suit: I'd expect him to want a high drag suit for maximum fall time.

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870562)

If a balloon counts as a machine, so do soap bubbles...

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870480)

Yes, but will anyone hear it?

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870170)

He'll still be going that fast for a while as he enters the layers of atmosphere that are dense enough to support the conveyance of soundwaves. At which point, he'll break the sound barrier

Re:no sound = no sound barrier (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870468)

If you go supersonic, there will be sound. Trust me on this.

rj

Anyone else think.. (4, Funny)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870078)

So I guess I'm not the only one to think this guy is going to die doing this stunt.

Re:Anyone else think.. (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870130)

I suspected, and breaking slashdot rules and reading TFA confirmed, that his suit is designed to automatically deploy the parachute at some failsafe altitude, even if he blacks out earlier.

Still plenty of room for things to go wrong, people manage to die doing perfectly ordinary parachuting from time to time; but probably more dramatic than dangerous.

Re:Anyone else think.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870300)

To go that fast, he will need to be extremely streamlined. Air becomes incompressible at supersonic speeds, so either his feet or head will need to handle the friction and stress created. I'd want a stability bar running the length of my body that my feet, legs, torso, shoulders, arms and head "clip" into.

To get out of that streamlined attitude is easy. To get out of it safely is a different matter completely. I'd want a way to release a trailing parachute, attached to my shoulders, to bleed off most of the speed. Perhaps down to 200 mph.

Slowing from 1200+ fps to 120 fps is a big deal and without extremely careful methods to retain something call static stability http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitudinal_static_stability [wikipedia.org] and he will end up tumbling out of control, breaking limbs or worse.

Any way, I wanna watch. I hope he does the trailing smoke thing!

Re:Anyone else think.. (2, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870430)

He shouldn't feel more than 1 G pushing back on him. I know I abused units, but it's no more force than the ground pushing back on you. Newton's 3rd law. Terminal velocity means acceleration of gravity = -acceleration due to resistance. Otherwise, as long as he doesn't go very far past TV, he shouldn't have to worry too much in that regard (With or without all the other problems). Friction and heat? I don't know how bad that'll be, I hope he does the math before cooking like an egg. If he does cook, that is.

Re:Anyone else think.. (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870560)

More like he should be wearing a suit that gets more stiff where it tries to vibrate as the wind compresses his skin. If you've seen people in wind tunnels and watch their skin make waves, that needs to be prevented with this guy.

More likely he's going to rip up some areas of his skin severely and it's entirely possible he'll bleed out before he gets to the surface.

Re:Anyone else think.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870306)

Just because the chute deploys automatically it doesn't mean that it'll work. If he is in a spin and has blacked out the chute might not open as it should, or at all. If he uses a standard chute with standard automatic deployment system, it deploys the reserve very low (~400m or so). If in a spin the chute will get spun and might not open very much as the slider won't go down, preventing full deployment. He might survive anyway, but it'll be a hard landing.

In short, if he goes into a spin that makes him black out, he will will likely die or get seriously injured.

I'm a skydiver myself (not a very experienced one, admittedly).

OT, Baumgartner has aroused the anger of many Basejumpers by "burning" objects. That is, making high-profile jumps and turning the eyes of the owners/authorities to the fact that there are basejumping going on and making further jumps very hard/impossible to do. Not a popular guy.

Re:Anyone else think.. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870382)

I'm fairly certain that, having designed/modified the suit itself, they have thought about and probably altered the emergency chute(s) appropriately.

Re:Anyone else think.. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870336)

If he's still coming down straight, that's fine. If he's in a spin, the chute can start off in any direction, it can tangle in itself or in him and never extend properly. And he definately wouldn't want to be unconscious hitting the ground, without controlling the landing that too will be nasty. Automatic releases are a last-ditch emergency resort because you certainly won't survive wihtout the chute, not something you'd want to rely on.

Re:Anyone else think.. (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870438)

It should be noted that the current record holder *did* go into a spin, and if he had been going any faster in it would have died just from how fast he was spinning in addition to blacking out (which he did).

Re:Anyone else think.. (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870514)

Maybe they plan on using a smaller drogue chute to try and get him the right way up first and reduce the speed of descent a little to lessen the strain on the main chute. wouldn't really matter quite so much if that tangles, as long as your design means that you can safely jettison it or otherwise get it out of the way before you deploy the main chute once things have settled down.

Re:Anyone else think.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870344)

He'll be lucky (no pun on his name Felix intended) if he blacks out. I suspect his skin will freeze and sustain deep burns and lacerations that will cause his face to be torn open and his limbs to be broken and torn off.

In German Baum = tree, Gartner = Gardener. It looks like Mr. Baumgartner is going to end up scattered across many garden trees.

Darwin Award Candidate (2, Funny)

sweetser (148397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870090)

Just like car racing, I want to watch.

Star Trek (3, Interesting)

tripmine (1160123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870096)

Am I the only one that though of the space diving scene from Star Trek 11?

Re:Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870114)

Superman throwing that island into space then falling for me.

Re:Star Trek (5, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870164)

Superman throwing that island into space then falling for me.

That bit about Superman falling for you? That was a dream. :)

Re:Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870174)

You only wish Superman would fall for you.

Re:Star Trek (-1, Flamebait)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870176)

What is this Star Trek 11 you're talking about? There are only 9 Star Trek movies.

Re:Star Trek (2, Interesting)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870226)

How do you get 9? Are you counting Wrath of Khan/Search for Spock/Voyage Home as one (since it's three parts of the same story arc)? Are you discounting the first and fifth movies (which were kinda terrible, IMO)? If not, which ones are you discounting?

Re:Star Trek (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870312)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Star Trek 1)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Star Trek 2)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Star Trek 3)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Star Trek 4)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Star Trek 5)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Star Trek 6)
Star Trek: Generations (Star Trek 7)
Star Trek: First Contact (Star Trek 8)
Star Trek: Insurrection (Star Trek 9)
Star Trek: Nemesis (Star Trek 10)
Star Trek (2009 - Star Trek 11)

While movies 2 through 4 were one story arc, they were three separate movies with each done by different directors. Hence, that's why we are at Star Trek 11. Talks are under way for #12 with the revamping of the franchise.

Re:Star Trek (1)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870372)

And I agree with you. There are 11 Star Trek movies. But I'm curious as to how that other guy says there are only 9.

Re:Star Trek (3, Funny)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870354)

For one thing we can pretend we're in an alternate timeline where the one from last year never happened.

Re:Star Trek (1)

johny42 (1087173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870310)

You must be new here. Everyone knows there are only four [littlespikeyland.com] !

Re:Star Trek (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870710)

You must be new here. Everyone knows there are only four [littlespikeyland.com] !

I counted five.

Re:Star Trek (3, Funny)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870572)

<response voice="Picard">But I see 11 Star Trek films!</response>

Re:Star Trek (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870258)

I actually thought of the end of Dark Star.

suicide mission (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870124)

A suicide mission with great importance for science. Finally the long lasting question of what happens to the human body at +1 mach will be answered.

Failed how? (5, Funny)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870168)

American Joe Kittinger made history by leaping from a balloon at 102,800 ft, and although many have sought to repeat the feat, all have failed.

Failed?!? How can you fail that? Throw yourself self off the balloon and miss the ground?

/greger

Re:Failed how? (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870206)

You can fail to get the balloon to 102,800 ft.

Re:Failed how? (3, Insightful)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870288)

You could also fail to survive the attempt.

Re:Failed how? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870576)

You can fail to get the joke.

Re:Failed how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870264)

Youve never read the Hitchhikers guide - the art of flying is to fall towards the ground, but miss.

Re:Failed how? (3, Funny)

sick_soul (794596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870282)

Missing the ground is fundamental in learning how to fly

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=flying [urbandictionary.com]

See 3.

Re:Failed how? (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870428)

LOL, I wish I had mod points to give you funny.

thank you for laughter.

Re:Failed how? (1)

logixoul (1046000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870646)

You need to read the original from end to end then :)

Re:Failed how? (1)

MustardAndPizza (1617631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870348)

Actually, if you RTA, the previous attempt epic failed. The guy was about to climb into the balloon when the balloon broke free and left for the sky without him.

That's almost as funny as missing the ground. Maybe Baumgartner will accidentally open a hyperspace window and end up on the other side of the earth...

----
One day, I accidentally ate a screwdriver instead of a corndog. I thought to myself, This would make a good signature.

Re:Failed how? (2, Funny)

FilePeter (1523803) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870392)

A Frenchman called Michel Fournier spent years preparing to beat the record, only to watch his balloon detach from the capsule and float away without him. I believe the term is EPIC FAIL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Fournier_(adventurer) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Failed how? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870414)

There's a high risk of death for one thing.

Re:Failed how? (5, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870472)

They're all still in orbit.

Re:Failed how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870658)

If you miss the ground, are you then flying?

Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870204)

Finally a use for my man-sized styrofoam wings!

A simple machine (2, Insightful)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870268)

he will exceed the speed of sound — the first person to do so without the aid of a machine.

He's using a machine. It's a balloon that sends him up 120,000 ft.

Re:A simple machine (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870356)

Well aren't you the Number One Wet Blanket.

Re:A simple machine (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870370)

I think TFA meant without a machine to propel you on the way down. At that point, it's just you and gravity.

Re:A simple machine (5, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870526)

Not true at all. He wants to exceed the speed of sound by falling quickly, but the dang balloon keeps lifting him up! If anything, it's actively working against him!

On a more serious note, which simple machines would you say make up a balloon? Is it a pulley? A wedge? A lever? A balloon is just hot air in a sack. Nothing machine-like about that, though I suppose the mechanism for generating hot air may involve a machine, but that's tangential.

Re:A simple machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870548)

A wedge? The denser air wedges the balloon upward.

Re:A simple machine (1)

Spacezilla (972723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870608)

I thought the definition of a machine was something about moving parts?

Re:A simple machine (4, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870536)

You must be a big hit at the parties.

Re:A simple machine (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870714)

His mom doesn't allow parties in the basement.

Re:A simple machine (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870666)

he will exceed the speed of sound — the first person to do so without the aid of a machine.

He's using a machine. It's a balloon that sends him up 120,000 ft.

Gah. The basic assumption here is that he's not using powered flight to get him up there ... the fact that a balloon can be considered a mechanical device is irrelevant. And even if he were using a rocket or other such machine to get him there, it would hardly detract from the feat itself, that of falling almost 28 miles. Why the summary even bothered to state that he's not using the aid of a machine is stupid anyway ... of course he's using a machine of some kind to get that far off the planet. What else would he use ... teleportation?

Of course, having said that, I still think he's completely nuts.

Re:A simple machine (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870750)

of course he's using a machine of some kind to get that far off the planet. What else would he use ... teleportation?

A teleporter would be a machine, too.
A staircase wouldn't be a machine, though. :-)

Just use a dummy first. (4, Interesting)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870298)

Test the survivability of this by using a dummy with G-force sensors (just like we see on Mythbusters).
Then, if all goes well - try the stunt.

And please, use some kind of stabilizer to make sure you don't turn into a frisbee.

I do see potential in this 'experiment' if anyone ever needs to bail out on spaceship2.

Re:Just use a dummy first. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870412)

On that note... I do hope he has some kind of data recording system.

While the speed and pressures will not be the same, the data collectible may well be invaluable if someone decides to invent an ejection system that functions at mach1 or beyond.

Re:Just use a dummy first. (4, Informative)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870522)

They've had supersonic ejection seats for quite a while now. Pretty much every modern fighter jet has them. There was a successful ejection out of a modified SR-71 back in the 60s. They were flying at over mach 3. Pilot survived, the copilot drowned when after he landed in the water.

Re:Just use a dummy first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870456)

starbugs wrote, "Just use a dummy first."

As a pilot who built and flies his own homebuilt airplane (a Rutan designed Long-EZ), and as one who has slipped the surly bonds of earth for 30+ years in various aircraft, and as one who has perhaps done a few foolish things in such aircraft, I submit that when Baumgartner jumps out of his balloon at 120k ft, *he* will be the dummy jumping. I suppose some people just have a death wish.

Re:Just use a dummy first. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870478)

But "dummy died when sky-diving at supersonic speed" is a worse headline than "human died when sky-diving at supersonic speed" ...
Won't anyone think of the newspapers?

Sound barrier (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870362)

I'm going to guess that he doesn't break the sound barrier. The term "barrier" isn't entirely fanciful, as power required to go faster increases enormously as you approach it.

On the other hand, if he DOES break the sound barrier, I'm going to bet it does him some injury.

Re:Sound barrier (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870516)

The trick is to start out high enough that you build up enough speed before hitting the dense atmosphere. The speed of sound decreases as the air gets thinner too.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870376)

gravity is not a machine ... and that is what propels him to the required speed
the balloon has zero to do with his fall other than lifting him to the altitude

it does not make him go fast

What ever happened to Terminal Velocity? (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870462)

I realize that Terminal Velocity will be higher with less air density, and the speed of sound should be lower, but do they both change so much that this is actually possible?

Re:What ever happened to Terminal Velocity? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870664)

Looking at Wikipedia, the speed of sound at that height should be about 300 m/s.
According to the NASA calculator [nasa.gov] (combined with Google to get from/to SI units), in 120.000 ft height the terminal speed is much larger than that (I inserted Baumgartner's weight (73kg = 161 lbs) and 120000 ft (which the calculator changed to 100000 for reasons unknown to me), but didn't change the other parameters; according to the NASA calculator, the terminal velocity at that height is 1700 ft/s, which is 518 m/s, and therefore much larger than 300 m/s.

Physics novice, here: (5, Interesting)

captainskyhawk (1652491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870488)

Isn't "terminal velocity" lower than the speed of sound?

Terminal Velocity and the Speed of Sound (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870542)

Pretty good information about high-altitude skydiving here: Speed of a Skydiver [hypertextbook.com]

Drift? (3, Interesting)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870512)

During the fall, how far could he drift from the balloon's overhead position? A few miles? Tens of miles?

Supplemental question (4, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870558)

If you fart while exceeding the speed of sound, will it make a noise?

Re:Supplemental question (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870626)

That's my new sig... thank you!

Re:Supplemental question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870698)

If you are in the fart's reference frame, there is no fart, and the whole universe farts around you!

Nominee (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870564)

I think this has to be considered as a Darwin Awards nominee...

Does he get the record if he dies? (2, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870602)

Strictly speaking the record will be for highest parachute jump. Assuming he's alive when he jumps he should get the record, even if he lands in several pieces.

Braking deceleration (2, Interesting)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870620)

Aside from the air friction, it's going to jolt like hell when his chute opens and he starts to decelerate.

Re:Braking deceleration (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870708)

I imagine his chute will be specialized to allow for variable resistance. This does make the jump much more dangerous, however. Even with a fail safe, his chute will likely deploy with the resistance to the minimum, so he'll come in pretty fast.

I don't really know, I'm just guessing mostly.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?