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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 MarkRose (820682) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @08:05PM (#41457963) Homepage

    That's one record that's sure to fall!

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @08:14PM (#41458053) Homepage Journal

      My first thought was: "Edge of space? I hope he doesn't cut his feet!"

    • by busyqth (2566075)
      I'm just wondering when someone's going to try a base jump from the ISS....
      • by Amouth (879122) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @08:53PM (#41458399)

        given the option i'd do it, same as a one way trip to mars

        • by khallow (566160)
          There's no reason for the one way trip from the ISS being as final as the one way trip to Mars.
          • by lxs (131946)

            Except for the whole burning up in the atmosphere part. Orbital velocity can be a PITA.

            • by khallow (566160)

              Except for the whole burning up in the atmosphere part. Orbital velocity can be a PITA.

              You might recall that the skydiver is allowed to bring a parachute so they don't have to die during each jump they make. The orbital equivalent would be something man-portable, perhaps a combination of heat shield ("thermal protection system") and parachute (something to slow you down without killing you). It's a tough engineering problem not an inevitable trip to the afterlife.

        • If you're given the option, do the base jump from ISS BEFORE the one way trip to mars.

      • First tricky part is de-accelerating from orbital velocity.
      • 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.

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

          Here's a story about a woman who wasn't suicidal, she jumped 990 feet base jumping, which did her in. This guy jumping from orbit will most likely live. Go figure. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/9548436/Pregnant-base-jumper-died-instantly-after-freefalling-990ft-on-final-leap.html [telegraph.co.uk]

          • by Immerman (2627577)

            Read more carefully - the likely suicide part would be re-entry. This guy is NOT jumping from orbit - he's jumping from near-orbital altitude, which is a COMPLETELY different thing. Being at low-Earth orbit altitude you have a ton of potential energy that will be translated into speed (kinetic energy) as you fall to the surface. Actually being in orbit means you *start out* with roughly 10x as much kinetic energy as that potential energy - which translates to hypersonic speeds. Shedding that much energ

          • Does this stunt HAVE to be done? I mean, if he lives, yes he gets the record for highest jump with hi tech protective equipment. If he dies, he's wasted his life over a stunt that HE DIDN'T HAVE TO DO!

            It's kind of like using steroids to enhance your sport playing ability. Should your records truly count, or should there be an asterix after his name.

            I hope he makes it unhurt and all. I don't see how it's worth risking your life for.

        • Well... base jumping doesn't require that you land, just that you jump from a great altitude. And the highest base I can think of is a space base. I mean, that's just poetic.
      • Wouldn't there be that whole issue with atmospheric re-entry and burning up, if you were to jump from the ISS?
      • by Type44Q (1233630)

        I'm just wondering when someone's going to try a base jump from the ISS....

        All that lateral velocity is bound to make the experience a real blast...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Stupid is as stupid does."
  • make a wish (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eddy_D (557002) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @08:08PM (#41457993)
    I see a bright future for this man.
  • Not sure I'd want to be that close to one. But maybe it'll be behind him. Or maybe he'll explode. We'll see.
  • Let's hope that the weather on the 8th is as good as they hope for...

    I just hope that if he gets too hot during re-entry he can unzip his suit!

    • by mspohr (589790)

      ... or open window

    • by Meshach (578918)

      Let's hope that the weather on the 8th is as good as they hope for...

      I just hope that if he gets too hot during re-entry he can unzip his suit!

      Maybe there will be precipitation and rain will not be the only thing to fall.

      • by Type44Q (1233630)

        Maybe there will be precipitation and rain will not be the only thing to fall.

        You hoping for a golden rainshower? :p

  • are we EVER going to see video of ANY of his attempts? Does anyone have any links to ANY of his free falls? I know Red Bull wants to market the sh%t out of this but at least give us some spoilers.
    • They'll probably release 10 seconds of it and the rest you have to pay $$$ for the DVD. The fact that they're making a big thing out of it but giving away nothing I suspect means they'll find people giving them the finger when they actually try and sell any footage.

  • If this attempt is successful Austria will reveal the other part of their space program:
    a vertical tunnel down the Grossglockner mountain with a bottle of propane at the bottom.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Good luck with that, Red Bull haven't released any of the footage for the warm up jumps other than a few teasers, let alone streaming/televising a dangerous stunt (for want of a better word) live.

    If anything went wrong their corporate image would take a big knock so I assume they'll wait until they know it's a success before announcing it and then they'll probably see how they can best 'monetize' the footage.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Let's put another shrimp on the barbie!

    • by FBeans (2201802)
      You have 0 score. I'm sure if the people with the mod points weren't so 'dumb and dumber', you'd probably have a few more!
  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @09:06PM (#41458515)
    > "It would be awesome to have a real time camera feed from his helmet."

    Hopefully out of respect to his family the news channels will edit out the last minute.
    • by phme (1501991)

      As long as they leave the sound on:

      "And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like ow ound round ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!
      I wonder if it will be friends with me?"

      And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @09:12PM (#41458565)

    What's sad is at the end of the story:

    Baumgartner and his team had originally hoped to attempt the record jump in 2010, but they were delayed by a legal challenge that claimed the idea of the dive was suggested to Red Bull by California promoter Daniel Hogan. That lawsuit has been settled out of court, and the mission is moving forward.

    God, we really built an entitlement society. People now think that a concept farts out of their brain, that it must be a) unique and b) theirs for all eternity. Now it seems the old adage of "Genius: one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration" should be changed to "Genius: one percent inspiration. Sue the suckers who put in the 99 percent perspiration."

    • by TheLink (130905)
      Yeah, ideas are a dime a dozen. I can come up with hundreds or thousands of ideas.

      Remember that self inflating tyre thing? That's definitely an innovative idea. But the tricky thing? Building a tyre that self-inflates, and still is as safe, long-lasting, etc as a current tyre. You have to figure out how to self-inflate but still not pump too much water into the tyre in very wet weather. And test to make sure everything works fine even after thousands of miles of potholes and bumps. And test to see that when
    • by triclipse (702209)
      One percent perspiration, 99% litigation.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or even simpler: "Genius: one percent inspiration and 99 percent ligitation"

  • C'mon, who could possibly say this isn't cool? As far as I can tell it is 100% useless (somebody please tell me how this will further science) but damn, given the opportunity, who wouldn't?
  • In future news, Felix Baumgartner dead at age 43.

  • The edge is 100km.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_line [wikipedia.org]

  • Nobody told Baumgartner about the Secret Nazi Space Shark lab still in low orbit over Germany near the Austrian border.

  • If he jumps out over Australia, won't he be going the wrong way?

  • And be the first guy to travel to another continent with your wingsuit!

    Well probably not. I reckon you'd probably lose a lot of altitude before you could get any air under your wings. You'd have a fuck-ton of air speed to play with once you did, though! Maybe you could make the jump across the Bering Strait or the English Channel. I think it'd suck to try to work a wingsuit around a bulky-ass spacesuit, but it would be a pretty cool jump! And I won't sue you if you steal my idea!

  • by Hognoxious (631665)

    If Baumgartner succeeds on Oct. 8, he will break not only that mark but also the sound barrier.

    ... and if he fails, he'll break every bone in his body.

  • ....Red Bull does give you wings

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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