Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Space Science

Balloonists Prepare For Another Altitude Record Attempt 9

EyesWideOpen writes "Determined to break the current altitude record of 34,747 metres (114,000 ft) Colin Prescot and Andy Elson will try again this year to take a giant envelope to a height in excess of 40,000 metres (130,000 feet). The balloonists have made previous attempts at the record and are hoping to use what has been learned so far, as well as a wider zone in which their QinetiQ 1 balloon can fly off southwest England, to be successful this year. To perform radiation and micrometeoroid experiments Prescot will try to fly a solar-powered propeller-driven plane (with a mounted camera) in the stratosphere. June to September is the proposed launch window."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Balloonists Prepare For Another Altitude Record Attempt

Comments Filter:
  • ...than the balloon attempt. I mean, aside from the technical details and data that will be gathered in the attempt which may or may not be useful in later high-altitude endeavors; this stuff is mostly for getting in that coffee table book.

    The website is really, really shiny, btw. Lots of pretty photographs. What gives... ^_^

    Anyway, I wanna see more research into unmanned high altitude/solar powered aircraft because I think that they are the next affordable mobile platform for doing land surveys and such; forget satellites. That's too expensive.
  • This is easy (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tuxinatorium ( 463682 ) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:42AM (#5612784) Homepage
    Just fill a huge, thin balloon 1/50 full of hydrogen, and it will rise until the pressure is 1/50 that of sea level, and then start to leak, but probably keep on rising as long as the bag and stuff are lighter than the weight of that volume of air at 1/50atm. Hydrogen is always going to be 1/7 the density of air at any pressure, so it shouldn't be much of a problem to get a balloon into the upper stratrosphere and beyond.
  • by Muhammar ( 659468 ) on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:05AM (#5613942)
    There was an army baloonist who actualy jumped on purpose from 100 000+ feet and lived to tell about it. This jump was done to test the feasibility of a paraschute rescue for the X-1 rocket plane project, which would work in high stratosphere.

    First there was a small paraschute, which should stabilise the man, and to prevent him from going supersonic in thin air. The main shute would then open authomaticaly, at muchg lower altitude.

    The test worked on a dummy, but with a live man, there was a mishap: the small parashute did not open. The poor guy was falling fater and faster and he thought to himself: "Damn, I am going to go supersonic. I must not spin, or I would get ripped appart. So he tried if he could do a skydiving spread, but at 100 000 feet there is not much resistance and it was difficult for him to control his body during the descent. He was falling fast and beginning to spin and he passed out. When he got back concious, at low altitutude, the main shute opened automaticaly.
    I think he was the only person who felt out on supersonic speed and survived.
    • well, it would probably be only a few seconds of freefall. In those thin atmospheres it takes about ~2 seconds to fall 1,000 feet. Once you get to 25k you don't need oxygen anymore really, and you start falling at about 1,000 feet per 4 seconds. The best thing this guy could of done would be to get into a freefall dive not a freefall spread.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!