Skydiver Jumps From Record 128,000 Feet, Breaks Sound Barrier
October 14, 2012 5:50 PM
comment(s) - last by
Baumgartner used a helium balloon to travel the 24 miles up, and jumped safely to the ground
A daredevil skydiver has landed safely on the ground after
jumping from the edge of space
Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian helicopter pilot and former soldier, made a risky jump from a helium balloon at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday morning. He broke the record for the highest jump at 128,000 feet (or 24 miles) above Earth.
One of Baumgartner's goals during the jump was to break the speed of sound, which would make him the first human to do so without the protection of a vehicle. According to reports, he was able to achieve this.
Baumgartner used a
to travel the 24 miles up, which was made of material only .0008 of an inch thick. The balloon posed risks on its own, with its shape and size changing as it climbed higher toward space.
Baumgartner wore only a pressurized helmet and suit, which weighed 100 pounds total. He also had sensors and recorders attached to him, which kept an eye on his speed, heart rate, etc.
Once Baumgartner reached the 24 miles, he jumped out of the capsule attached to the helium balloon and fell for less than five minutes. He crouched into a "delta" position to maximize acceleration, and then deployed his parachute for the remaining 5,000 feet toward Earth. His maximum speed was Mach 1.24 (833.9 mph), breaking the sound barrier.
Many things could have gone wrong during the jump. For instance, the pressurized suit could have proved to be too weak, allowing Baumgartner's blood to vaporize in the thin atmosphere. It was also 70 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in some cases during the fall, which could have sent Baumgartner into hypothermia. If Baumgartner were to lose consciousness at any time during the fall, he would have to depend on his parachute deploying automatically.
On top of that, breaking the sound barrier could have had unknown effects on the body.
"You have to remember all the procedures," said Baumgartner. "You know you're in a really hostile environment. And you cannot think about anything else. You have to be focused. Otherwise, you're gonna die."
Baumgartner nearly made the jump last Tuesday, but foul weather delayed his record-breaking jump another five days. He was preparing the balloon at his launch site in Roswell, New Mexico, but a large gust of wind twisted the balloon to the point of destroying it.
Baumgartner landed in the eastern New Mexico desert safely Sunday afternoon.
You can rewatch the event right here courtesy of YouTube:
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Joseph Kittinger essentially did this first
10/15/2012 8:30:07 PM
For some people, that's enough. And playing with private money, let them.
I can remember the late 1960's, when Art Arfons and Craig Breedlove kept one-upping each other in their respective 'Green Monster' and 'Spirit of America' jet powered vehicles at Bonneville for the land speed record. Yes, much sport, minimal science, and that's okay. It was cool.
Don't expect anything done in (or near) space to have some basic 'betterment of mankind' value (science was rightly along for the ride, but Apollo was really done [and done in the particular way it was] for geopolitical reasons), the motivations will be many and varied, just as they are down here...
I'm sure James Cameron didn't go to the bottom of the Challenger Deep earlier this year
for the science value, either. He too, now has some serious, well-deserved bragging rights.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
Altaeros Touts "Green" Helium Wind Turbine Amid Global Helium Shortage
March 30, 2012, 7:51 AM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information