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Baumgartner Completes 13.5-Mile Free-Fall Jump, Aims For Record

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.

Space 155

An anonymous reader writes "On Thursday Felix Baumgartner climbed into a capsule carried by a balloon, floated up to 71,500 feet, and jumped out. He free-fell through the atmosphere for almost four minutes, hitting an estimated top speed of 364 mph. 'I wanted to open the parachute after descending for a while but I noticed that I was still at an altitude of 50,000ft,' he said. After finally deploying his chute, he fell for a bit over four more minutes, before successfully touching down in the New Mexico Desert. This was a test to prepare him for a jump of 120,000 feet later this summer, during which Baumgartner will break the record for highest free-fall jump — and the sound barrier. '... a 36-pound spacesuit is all that separates Baumgartner from a hostile world that would boil the blood in his body. Baumgartner will wear a chest pack crammed with data-hungry instruments to help ground controllers monitor the attempt — and log scientific data. Some will keep tabs on his heart rate and oxygen intake to see how a body in a spacesuit reacts to a boundary no one has broken (and lived to tell the tale): the speed of sound.'"

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155 comments

Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391337)

n/t

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391455)

I'd like to point out that your blood doesn't boil in a low pressure environment, even if that's a vacuum. As it's contained by your skin and tissues that are rather noncompliant tissue and thus maintain a certain level of internal pressure.

However, the starling forces are severely disrupted, resulting in oedema of any exposed tissue, this however can be compensated for by using skin tight clothing. NASA did in fact once research a wet-suit like space suit that wouldn't be pressure sealed, concept was good, however, if the suit is kinked and the pressure is relieved you get oedema, and this is hard to prevent in regions such as around joints and crotch.

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391541)

So basically hipsters can jump from 100,000+ feet safely?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391953)

So basically hipsters can jump from 100,000+ feet safely?

As long as you don't mind severe oedema in your crotch.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391985)

As far as I'm concerned, yes.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391867)

Heat shrink wrap?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392175)

NASA did in fact once research a wet-suit like space suit that wouldn't be pressure sealed, concept was good, however, if the suit is kinked and the pressure is relieved you get oedema, and this is hard to prevent in regions such as around joints and crotch.

So what if they made it an actual wet suit and filled it up with jello? Liquids equalize pressure and all. Of course, might as well fill it with air, at that point, but I wonder if there would still be advantages.

Re:Wow (1)

CPNABEND (742114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392573)

I swear that I saw a Discovery documentary where a guy did this same thing (From the record altitude), and broke at least MACH 1.

Vostok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391339)

At what altitude did Yuri Gagarin jump from Vostok?

Also, Hemos is my homeboy.

Re:Vostok (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391423)

At what altitude did Yuri Gagarin jump from Vostok?

Also, Hemos is my homeboy.

23,000 feet. Still a petty high jump.

So, first he breaks the height record... (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391355)

... and then he breaks the speed record?

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391363)

Technically, I don't really think he's broken either until he lands and survives after breaking both.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391395)

No. If he survives till the ground it will be the longest free fall jump. Survival is not required for being the first person to break the sound barrier without a means of propulsion.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (2)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391425)

Survival is not required for being the first person to break the sound barrier without a means of propulsion.

My inner physicist tells me that gravity is a means of propulsion.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392269)

Without an artificial means of propulsion then?

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392771)

His spacesuit is a means of propulsion since it can be used as a paddle if stuck on a boat at sea with nothing else.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392815)

Without an artificial means of propulsion then?

I'd say his gaining of all that altitude didn't happen spontaneously.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391405)

Technically, I don't really think he's broken either until he lands and survives after breaking both.

No he can die, it's just regarded as a better break if you survive. In times past we didn't have the capacity to track things independant of the survivors say so. (ergo sir hillary & everest with his predecessor being a big ?). Now with instruments on board Baumgartner can die, so long as he survives to the sound barrier. But i'm sure he'd rather survive the landing too.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391387)

The whole attempt will be a win, win situation for him - he's guaranteed to make it into the Guinness Book.

After the attempt, he'll either he'll have the record for the highest freefall jump, or he'll have the record for the world's largest pizza.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391575)

Crustless pizza, that is. The largest pizza with a crust is significantly larger. The temperature might be wrong as well. Damm you mother nature! Why can't you cook falling corpzacless (little corpse pizzas) in the right 485 decrees for the right 60-90 seconds!? Some people just can't cook.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392325)

The crust on this pizza is a shell about 20 miles thick and 4000 miles in diameter.

WARNING: Joke fail imminent! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392429)

and 4000 miles in radius.

Re:WARNING: Joke fail imminent! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392527)

assuming he manages to plant himself right in the center of the desert...otherwise, it's pizza sauce all over the edge of it...

Re:WARNING: Joke fail imminent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39393181)

Can I please have that in furlongs please?

Or maybe fortnights.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (5, Funny)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391401)

He free-fell through the atmosphere for almost four minutes, hitting an estimated top speed of 364 mph. 'I wanted to open the parachute after descending for a while but I noticed that I was still at an altitude of 50,000ft,' he said.

Sorry to hear you got bored halfway, bro.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391403)

And then he breaks every bone in his body.
Which I'm sure would be a record too.

Re:So, first he breaks the height record... (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392009)

Don't forget the research data!

It will come in handy for our first planetary invasions using space marines.

Why no video? (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391357)

Why haven't they published a video of the jump? Just some footage of him at the capsule and that's all.

Slowing down. (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391361)

The braking from supersonic phase is going to be interesting.

Ordinary parachuting maxes out around 200km/h. Back in the 1960s, the last time a 100,000+ foot jump was tried, someone hit 998km/h. They did not have an easy ride down.

Re:Slowing down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391389)

Please explain how Kittinger did not have an "easy ride down". In fact, he had a much harder time going UP when his pressure suit had a slight malfunction and one of his hands was much more exposed to the altitude than it should have been...

Re:Slowing down. (5, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391601)

  Kittinger did several flights of this sort. Manhigh I and Excelsior I, II, III. There may have been others. I'm not that well versed on old USAF projects.

  As I recall from interviews I've read regarding the 1st flight, Kittinger was flying blind for a good bit of the ascent. His visor frosted over, so he couldn't see anything, including his altimeter. On the 3rd flight, his right glove leaked, causing his hand to swell. There was no permanent injury from that though.

    While not mentioned in the summary, it's in the story that Kittinger is consulting on Baumgartner's jumps. He's also been planning it for a while. Here's a 2010 story on it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/faster-than-the-speed-of-sound-the-man-who-falls-to-earth-1877875.html [independent.co.uk]

    As far as I know, there were no failed attempts of this sort. Well, not that resulted in the person not surviving, despite the blurb at the end of the summary. Well, it fails twice in that Kettinger did break the speed of sound.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392045)

I don't understand the references to hand-swelling and blood-boiling? At most the difference in pressure throughout the fall will be 1 atmosphere. In scuba diving that really isn't much at all (33 feet down). The world record for freediving (no tanks, i.e. quick up and down) is almost 900 feet.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392157)

-1 atmosphere is much more extreme than +2 atmospheres.

Re:Slowing down. (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392927)

Here is what NASA says [nasa.gov] :

theory predicts -- and animal experiments confirm -- that otherwise, exposure to vacuum causes no immediate injury. You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness. Various minor problems (sunburn, possibly "the bends", certainly some [mild, reversible, painless] swelling of skin and underlying tissue) start after ten seconds or so. At some point you lose consciousness from lack of oxygen. Injuries accumulate. After perhaps one or two minutes, you're dying. The limits are not really known.

You do not explode and your blood does not boil because of the containing effect of your skin and circulatory system. You do not instantly freeze because, although the space environment is typically very cold, heat does not transfer away from a body quickly. Loss of consciousness occurs only after the body has depleted the supply of oxygen in the blood.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393207)

I don't understand the references to hand-swelling and blood-boiling? At most the difference in pressure throughout the fall will be 1 atmosphere. In scuba diving that really isn't much at all (33 feet down). The world record for freediving (no tanks, i.e. quick up and down) is almost 900 feet.

Well it was not the vacuum that caused the damage, it was the pressure difference, the one atmosphere inside the suit would be trying to force his body out through the whole near the glove.

Re:Slowing down. (3, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391429)

Dynamic pressure is going to be really high.

Spins will be a hazard. Skydivers learn to control spins but not at that speed.

Re:Slowing down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391595)

Kittinger used a drogue to stabilize himself... so again, please explain how he had a tough ride down. It was an amazing technological feat, no doubt. But the "ride down" was probably one of the easiest parts of the entire mission.

Re:Slowing down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391627)

The braking from supersonic phase is going to be interesting.

Not really. As he falls, the atmosphere will get thicker, so his terminal velocity will get lower. By the time he deploys his chute, he'll have slowed to normal terminal velocity.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393353)

To be accurate, he will be traveling at terminal velocity all the way down. Its just that terminal velocity is much higher at 100,000 feet than at lower altitudes.

The aerodynamic force a he will experience will be relatively constant, since it will balance that of gravity attempting to accelerate him downwards. As he will be decelerating overall (due to increasing density at lower altitudes), the net aerodynamic pressure will total somewhat more than his body weight.

Re:Slowing down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391655)

As he enters denser atmosphere he will naturally slow down due to drag. Kittinger reached 614 mph with a drogue shoot when he jumped from 102,000 ft. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kittinger.

I'm more interested to know if he will make a boom when crossing the sound barrier or is the atmosphere so rarefied at that altitude that the barrier is non-existent?

Re:Slowing down. (3, Insightful)

ottawanker (597020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391917)

You don't make a boom as you cross the sound barrier, you make it the entire time you are going faster than the speed of sound.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392081)

There is no 'boom' created as you cross or exceed the sound barrier. The sonic boom phenomenon is the compressed sound (normally of a jet engine) slamming into you all at once, literally a wall of sound, rather than hearing it as it comes nearer, passes, and moves away from you. A human in free-fall will not to the best of my estimation, create this sonic boom as he is not creating a large amount of sound. Of course if it was me, I would be screaming hysterically all the way down.

Re:Slowing down. (2)

DirtySouthAfrican (984664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392321)

Except the shock cone of say, an SR-71 Blackbird, originate at the nose and inlet cones of the aircraft, and these are specifically designed to keep the shockwaves ahead of the engines, and thus keep the airflow in the engines subsonic. What you are saying is mostly correct, except that this wall of sound is what happens when "sound" starts to behave non-linearly. When you try to push air faster than a certain speed, molecules begin to pile up, density increases, heat increases, and it stops behaving like air in the way we are used to. You don't need a sound source for this. The energy you are pumping into that shockwave will be plenty loud. I think some artillery create shock waves that can be felt before the cannon can be heard.

Almost (2)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392751)

Except the shock cone of say, an SR-71 Blackbird, originate at the nose and inlet cones of the aircraft, and these are specifically designed to keep the shockwaves ahead of the engines, and thus keep the airflow in the engines subsonic.

I read that the bow shock on the SR-71 goes into the engines at around mach 3. This provides the engines with pre-compressed air and fuel efficiency actually increases at that point. An old article written by one of the pilots had 2 highlights that I remember - 1) if you're on a mission at high speed and you're running out of fuel, GO FASTER it gets better mpg. 2) You light the afterburners for takeoff, and they generally don't ignite at the same time, so you immediately have to correct a large yaw moment on the ground as your accelerating at an astounding rate.

Re:Slowing down. (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392379)

The sonic boom phenomenon is the compressed sound (normally of a jet engine) slamming into you all at once, literally a wall of sound, rather than hearing it as it comes nearer, passes, and moves away from you.

There will be a sonic boom. The sonic boom is a shock wave created by the displacement of atmosphere caused by the passage of anything traveling faster than the speed of sound. It doesn't matter if the object generates sound in addition to that. For objects falling more or less straight down, the sonic boom propagates towards the horizon and through atmosphere that is far less dense than the lower atmosphere. It's probably possible to detect the sonic boom in question, but it's vastly less energy (and hence noise) than that of a jet traveling mostly horizontally and in lower, denser atmosphere.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392451)

As an aside, the speed of sound depends on temperature and to a modest extent density. At the altitudes he jumped at, the speed of sound is significantly slower than it is at ground level, due to the much colder temperature of the layer he passes through (I'm too lazy to look it up in Wikipedia like I should, but I believe the lowest temperature at that point happens at the tropopause, the boundary between the lower atmosphere and the stratosphere which is somewhere around 70k feet.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391673)

His not gonna open the parachute with that speed. I assume he will first slow down to the normal lower-atmosphere, free-fall (belly-to-earth) terminal velocity, ie about 200km/h.

Re:Slowing down. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392055)

Bailing out at supersonic speed and surviving is possible. Per Wikipedia:

"In the early 1960s, deployment of rocket-powered ejection seats designed for use at supersonic speeds began in such planes as the Convair F-106 Delta Dart. Six pilots have ejected at speeds exceeding 700 knots (1,300 km/h; 810 mph). The highest altitude at which a Martin-Baker seat was deployed was 57,000 ft (from a Canberra bomber in 1958). Following an accident on 30 July 1966 in the attempted launch of a D-21 drone, two Lockheed M-21[6] crew members ejected at Mach 3.25 at an altitude of 80,000 ft (24,000 m) The pilot was recovered successfully, however the observer drowned after a water landing."

Re:Slowing down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392911)

Ya its called terminal velocity from wind resistance. He'll slow down falling without any parachute at all. He will not be going super sonic when he pulls his chute.

Nothing interesting about it. Its just a very high sky dive. He needs air and a pressure suit. He is not in orbit so he will not burn up upon reentry either. He's not moving fast enough. You could do it from space if you were not in orbit and stationary over a point on the ground.

Re: phase transitions (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391365)

I seem to recall that even in vacuum, the elasticity of your skin can supply the vapor pressure of your blood, so I think claims about blood boiling are bunk.

Sure are a lot of silver-haired folk in the photos (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391419)

...but it makes sense when one considers how long it's been since we were really going full-tilt at doing this kind of research in the public sector. (Every time I see it, this xkcd [xkcd.com] leaves me a little more depressed about our willingness, as a population, to go to the risks and expenses necessary to accomplish great things).

Serious kudos to Red Bull for sponsoring this -- it's a happy day when one person's marketing budget is another person's research budget, and I sincerely hope both the PR people and the research people get the results they're looking for.

sage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391565)

sage for xkcd
>Implying you aren't a huge faggot

Re:sage-fuck off with that 4chan bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39393283)

wrong forum jackass.
fuck off and get back to /b/ you closet-case faggot.

Re:Sure are a lot of silver-haired folk in the pho (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392123)

It's a good stunt, but science? If anybody really wanted the data they'd just drop the suit without the man in it. If there's still any concern about un-identified paramaters necessary to support life (which I doubt) they could always go the monkey/dog route again. (Granted, Kittinger himself says otherwise in the article, but I still don't see it).

All of this has been done before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391421)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Kittinger

Re:All of this has been done before... (2)

cduffy (652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391475)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Kittinger

Read the article much? Kittinger is one of the people helping.

Did this make anyone else think of MOOSE? (4, Interesting)

Port1080 (515567) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391431)

If this works, maybe the people who were designing things like the MOOSE orbital bail-out system weren't as crazy as everyone thought....

(see: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/moose.htm [astronautix.com] )

Re:Did this make anyone else think of MOOSE? (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391623)

Orbit is a fair bit higher than this jump. The ISS is 10 times higher than the jump which gives you much more time to build up speed. Whether or not the MOOSE system would really keep the user from burning up on re-entry is still debatable.

Re:Did this make anyone else think of MOOSE? (2)

dfcamara (1268174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391819)

Not only higher but jumping from ISS you also start at orbital velocity (7.7-7.6 km/s)

Re:Did this make anyone else think of MOOSE? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392275)

Speed is limited by terminal velocity of about 200 km/h near the ground, where it matters. The total heat generated from air friction during the jump can't be more than the initial potential energy, but you'd need a profile of the air density to calculate it exactly.

Re:Did this make anyone else think of MOOSE? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392995)

Its not debatable at all. Its a VERY well understood science.

The ISS is in ORBIT. It is traveling at 17500 MPH. If you enter at that speed, you burn up. If you were not in orbit, and dropped straight down from the height of the ISS, you would not burn up.

"Orbit" is not higher or lower than anything else up there, its simply a speed at which you fall as fast as you move around the earth. Its an endless fall.

So, jumping from an actual orbit, you die. Jumping from a balloon or whatever, you do not.

Re:Did this make anyone else think of MOOSE? (1)

barry99705 (895337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393085)

So basically to jump from the ISS, you need a rocket to shoot you the opposite direction as your orbit to at least slow you past the OMGIGD speed.

Re:Did this make anyone else think of MOOSE? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393007)

yeah I saw that one, where Bullwinkle parachutes in to save Rocky J from the headhunters

Previous art... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391435)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Excelsior

Been there, done that... Neither one seems like a new record to me... Previous record seems to be around 102,000 ft and top speed of 614 mph...

So the next jump, yeah... But this one? No dice.

Boil the blood my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391451)

Is his body an open vessel? 'Cause it's the only way to 'boil the blood in his body' by exposing said body to low pressure.

Epic Darwin Award (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391469)

What are the odds he'll end up as a large smear on the ground?

Re:Epic Darwin Award (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392037)

You seem to forget that despite the large fall distance being attempted, the increasing thickness of the atmosphere will serve to break his fall speed down to a "safer" terminal velocity of about 120 mph by the time he is close enough to the ground that the fall turns into a normal parachute jump only wearing a spacesuit.

Not really the first to go supersonic (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391479)

There have been several people going supersonic in the atmosphere, after high speed ejections from military aircraft. Supposedly some even jumped out at Mach 3, though as that was during secret tests I'm not sure the details were ever disclosed officially. This would be the first to accelerate to supersonic speed in free fall, not the first to go supersonic.

http://www.ejectionsite.com/ejectfaq.htm

Re:Not really the first to go supersonic (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392065)

To be fair, the summary doesn't say he'd be the first, only that he'd break the barrier, and the article is clear on the point that he'll only be the first to break the sound barrier by free fall.

Re:Not really the first to go supersonic (1)

camelrider (46141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392257)

I remember someone ejecting from a jet at supersonic speed in an outside loop (I think it was in Louisiana) and surviving in pretty good shape. The details escape memory but I think he got out with his legs intact, which had been predicted as improbable, and survived.
One of the more memorable ejections in that era was from a Cougar jet disabled in a thunderstorm over Louisiana. He took a very long time to get down and had ribs broken due to the buffeting he received. A REALLY long time to get down due to the updrafts the thunderstorm! These were two different events.

Not the first to break the sound barrier (0)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391583)

I'm pretty sure Joseph Kittinger broke the sound barrier on his space jump.

Re:Not the first to break the sound barrier (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391897)

It took me, literally, 10 seconds to discover that you're entirely wrong.

he fell for four minutes and 36 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 614 miles per hour (988 km/h)

the speed of sound ... is 1,236 kilometres per hour (768 mph)

Re:Not the first to break the sound barrier (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39393039)

768 mph..... at sea level.

Joe was..... not at sea level for some time when jumping from a balloon at 70k+ feet.

(Hint, the speed of sound varies as a function of density of the medium it propagates through).

Joe Kittinger (3, Informative)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391607)

What's really cool is the Col. Joe Kittinger (who has the record of 102,000+ feet since I was 2) is his biggest fan & supporter. Joe did it old school...just throw on a G-suit, space suit, parachute and jump. When he landed, he popped out a lighter & smoked a cigarette LOL. Times have changed. That HQ photo of Baumgartner standing on the edge of the capsule is my unlock screen on my phone. Cool picture. Hope they do one at 120K feet.

love skydiving (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39391635)

such an amazing feeling of floating, I only got an idea of how fast I was by going through a cloud, but to do this for four minutes - amazing.

I'm jealous - and wish him best of luck breaking that record(s)

Re:love skydiving (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392513)

such an amazing feeling of floating [...]

I dunno. I did a tandem jump from 12,000 feet and that strong wind on the way down definitely discouraged any thoughts of floating or flying. But the scale is so big that you don't really get the feeling of falling, either.

But I agree--it's very cool.

Now again in metric (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391757)

you backward bitches.

Supersonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39391765)

I'm surprised that it is possible to get "supersonic". Perhaps that just means exceeding the speed of sound, at sea level? I thought it took significant energy to penetrate the shock-wave that gave it the name the "sound barrier"...

Deceleration is the trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392059)

Falling from whatever altitude results in hitting thicker air at 95000 feet and deceleration to transonic at 35000 feet and shortly thereafter to subsonic. A free falling man has a terminal velocity of under 300 MPH (500 fps). Check with U.S. Rockets for the next record to easily break. They have software.

one other broken barrier (0)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392061)

The best part will be when he breaks the time barrier and lands in 1956. At that point, a farmer will shoot him then shout "I got myself a Russky. Martha, call the sheriff!"

The Speed of Sound is not 700 mph (4, Informative)

iliketrash (624051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392273)

From TFA: "Thirty seconds after leaping, he’ll exceed the speed of sound in the thin upper atmosphere by traveling almost 700 miles per hour."

The speed of of sound in the upper atmosphere is _not_ 700 miles per hour. That figure relates to the speed of sound at one atmosphere and normal temperatures and also has to consider partial pressures including water vapor. In the upper atmosphere, the speed of sound is much less.

Claims similar to this over the years that the space shuttle is traveling at Mach 25 are just as ill-informed, since the "mach" number is supposed to be based on local conditions, not at some hypothetical place on a beach (one atmosphere, nice temperatures). It is wrong to simply divide some velocity by the speed of sound at sea level and then apply it to conditions present at the object's location.

Re:The Speed of Sound is not 700 mph (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39392565)

While your somewhat pedantic point is entirely valid, this is generally done to make the general public understand it in a (dramatic) frame of reference they are familiar with. I do agree it would be better to give the speed in mph (or kmh if you're somewhere with a sane measurement system).

supersonic free-fall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392315)

The last bit about nobody living to tell the tale about supersonic free-fall is badly incorrect. Multiple military pilots have ejected while supersonic, at relatively low altitudes (below 50,000 ft to as low as approximately 10,000 ft) making it a horrifically violent experience. Many died during the supersonic ejection but some lived, even some who were clothed in only the basic military issue nomex flight suit.

Dragon Ball Z (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39392567)

Finally Scientists will be able to conclude that human like objects CAN move at ridiculous speeds and survive* the impact.

*we will ignore the ability to suddenly stop at anytime during this test.

terminal velocity of the suit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39393121)

I did a tiny bit of mathemagic and got his time from 71500 feet (21793.2 meters) to earth at 66.67 seconds (just over a minute), and his maximum velocity at 2353.4 km/hr. SPLAT! Since his maximum speed was 364 miles per hour (162.72256 meters per second), he would have had to have accelerated from 0 meters per second (approximately) when he left the balloon/capsule, and accelerated to this 'terminal velocity' for 16.59587557 seconds and in that time fell 2700.523358 meters (to get to 364 miles per hour), and then remained at this speed for another 23.6763522 seconds (to get to 50,000 feet). They said it took him four minutes to get to 50,000 feet from 71500 feet. Was he still accelerating up when he left the capsule? Was his altitude 71500 feet when he left the capsule or was that the maximum altitude he got to after leaving the capsule (assuming he was still ascending when he left the capsule) and it took some seconds for his vertical ascent to stop before he started to fall? Somewhere things don't fit quite right.

That's not the world record. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39393345)

The Doctor fell from outer space without a parachute, I think he bean Felix.

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