Home > People, Science & Technology, Space, Things I Like... > Joe Kittinger & Felix Baumgartner at The Edge of Space…

Joe Kittinger & Felix Baumgartner at The Edge of Space…

October 12, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s a real shame that, due to gusty winds at the jump site above Roswell, New Mexico, Felix Baumgartner had to abandon his attempt to make the highest freefall jump in history. His plans to leap from the mind numbing height of 37 kilometers above the earth’s surface last Tuesday, are now on hold until better weather comes along.

During his descent he would have theoretically broken the sound barrier, travelling faster than 1240km/h… (or about 1km every 3 seconds) and subjected his body to all manner of potentially fatal experiences including boiling blood, uncontrolled spinning and exploding lungs..

The event would have been (and presumably still will be when the time is right) captured by a live stream feed from over 30 video and stills cameras, 5 of which were to be attached to his pressure suit.

Baumgartner was hoping to break a record set way back in 1960 by the American Joe Kittinger who as part of Project Excelsior jumped out of a platform attached to a helium balloon at 31 km above the earth’s surface. It took him about an hour and a half to get to the jump height and about 15 minutes to get home, 4½ of which were freefall through the Earth’s stratosphere where he achieved a staggering maximum speed of 988km/h.

Amazingly there is footage of this fantastic achievement… and here it is. Someone’s even added a rather excellent drum and bass soundtrack which kicks in just as he jumps…)

Can you imagine what it must feel like to look down at your own planet so far below and then just step off…

So whilst the recorded quality and coverage of Kittinger’s freefall attempt may pale against what I imagine will be a beautifully edited and comprehensive visual record of Baumgartner’s jump (when it finally happens), these shaky and grainy images remind us that this courageous US Airman, who despite his first attempt going horribly wrong (he lost consciousness, got into a flat spin, experienced G forces more than 20 times that of gravity and only survived thanks to his automatic parachute opener) got back in the gondola, went up for a another go and did something quite unbelievable, probably using equipment that was barely suitable for the task and that no one would do again for more than 50 years…

  1. October 12, 2012 at 20:18

    I was just wondering how out-of-date modern gear will look in 30 years.

    • October 13, 2012 at 12:35

      Hi David
      i was wondering the same as I was researching the pictures.. the stuff from 1960 looks so unconvincing.. I mean, is that gaffer tape around his ankles .. crazy
      thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. October 13, 2012 at 10:23

    Reblogged this on androiddanbeta.

  3. SteveWhite2008
    January 17, 2013 at 13:32

    It could be a good test for underpants, if they’ll survive that, they’ll survive anything.

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