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Space Science

Austrian Skydiver Prepared to Leap From Edge of Space 97

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sounds-like-fun-if-dying-were-fun dept.
Cutting_Crew writes "Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner will attempt a supersonic free fall on October 8th as the worlds highest skydive. According to the Christian Science Monitor 'The current record for world's highest skydive stands at 102,800 feet (31,333 m). It was set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who serves as an adviser for Baumgartner's mission. If Baumgartner succeeds on Oct. 8, he will break not only that mark but also the sound barrier, becoming the first skydiver ever to fall at supersonic speeds, Red Bull Stratos officials said. During the July 25 jump, Baumgartner's top freefall speed was 537 mph (864 kph) — about as fast as a commercial airliner.' Let's hope that the weather on the 8th is as good as they hope for. It would be awesome to have a real time camera feed from his helmet."
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Austrian Skydiver Prepared to Leap From Edge of Space

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @08:43PM (#41458321)

    One of my favorite music videos, Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy, starts out with footage from Kittinger's 1960 jump:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrBZeWjGjl8

  • Re:Sonic Boom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @08:48PM (#41458359)

    The air will be so thin when he's at that speed that the shock-wave will be negligible if not non-existant.

  • by Immerman (2627577) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @11:46PM (#41459843)

    It would be a cool way to commit suicide, I'll give you that.

    The ISS is 230 miles up and you'd fall most of the way in vacuum, gaining 2.6kJ/kg of kinetic energy - meaning you'd be going around mach 7 when you hit the atmosphere With a good enough wing suit you *might* be able to spend enough time decelerating in the far upper atmosphere to avoid incinerating on reentry.

    But to actually jump from the ISS you *start out* moving at 17,000mph(mach 22) - to reach the Earth you'd have to jump hard enough to neutralize enough of that velocity so that your new orbit intersected the atmosphere, but 200 miles is a fairly minor adjustment to a 4000-mile orbit, you might only need to shed a mach number or so, which you'd get back with interest as you fell. At that kind of speed you need to go to pretty extreme lengths to slow down - either a seriously large sturdy wing that can keep you in the far upper atmosphere shedding speed for a long time, or a serious heat shield. And I think either of those probably disqualify it from being considered a base jump.

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