backtop


Print 41 comment(s) - last by Chocobollz.. on May 25 at 1:04 PM

One daredevil prepares for his 120,000 foot fall.

At an altitude of 120,000 feet, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner, clad in a pressurized suit with oxygen tanks, will jump out of a helium balloon he boarded in New Mexico. At such an extreme height, Baumgartner plans to reach supersonic speeds. Within 30 seconds of his free fall, he expects to exceed 690 miles per hour (the speed of sound), and therefore breaking the sound barrier.

"That is what we want to find out: What happens to the human body when it breaks the speed of sound," Baumgartner explains.

If Baumgartner succeeds, he will hold the record for the highest, longest, and fastest free fall ever. He will also be named the first person to break the sound barrier without some sort of vehicle. The current record holder, Joe Kittinger, serves as Baumgartner's enlisted consultant. Kittinger set his record in 1960 with the Air Force at 102,800 feet. It is "a very distant and hostile place to be," he told 
CNN

After riding the balloon 23 miles upwards, Baumgartner will jump. At that extreme altitude, blood boils at body temperature. To combat the extreme environment, he will be wear a face mask that will de-fog thanks to face-shield heating, allowing Baumgartner to see his fall, as well as sealed boots and gloves. The parachute on his back will open automatically as well, if in fact Baumgartner cannot open it himself, in the worst case scenario. He is also equipped with a back-up parachute. Baumgartner explains that they have learned a lot from people who have tried to break records such as Kittingers', and failed. "Some of these people got killed."

Even though Baumgartner claims his engineers are taking every precaution, no one knows exactly what happens to a human body at that altitude and speed. "You can never say you're not going to get killed under any circumstances, but we have a lot of solutions for emergency situations," Baumgartner explains. He later says that a chain reaction of events would lead to the worst-case scenario--a fatal fall.

Baumgartner's five minute fall also has another reason behind it: to demonstrate that future tourists, returning from space without the aid of a spacecraft, could in fact return to Earth. "We will show to the world that egress from high altitude is survivable," he said.

The dive, financed by Red Bull, is planned for this summer. "I think it's human nature, you know. Records are meant to be broken. And I'm a very competitive person. I like the challenge," Baumgartner adds.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: It won't work, he's an idiot
By FaceMaster on 5/24/2010 8:04:20 AM , Rating: -1
My post was sarcastic, by the way. I really ought to remember to put /sarcasm after my posts, the number of Americans oblivious to the term is quite phenomenal


RE: It won't work, he's an idiot
By paydirt on 5/24/2010 8:54:49 AM , Rating: 1
meh. Don't rely on your equations too much.

Some still rely on an equation for green house gases which includes a "break away" term in the equation which HAS to be wrong since the Earth had 20 TIMES the CO2 in prehistoric times and no break away situation occurred back then.


RE: It won't work, he's an idiot
By FaceMaster on 5/24/2010 4:49:50 PM , Rating: 3
...What equations?


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki