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Idle Science

Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt 271

First time accepted submitter madcarrots writes "The Red Bull Stratos space jump is about to take place. The balloon is filling up and launch is expected around 10 AM MDT. Check out the live feed of the inflation process... it's beautiful!" After some delays it looks like the jump is finally going to happen. UPDATE: The jump was a success. Baumgartner is on the ground and apparently fine.
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Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

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  • Hydrogen? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @12:54PM (#41650107)

    Why don't they use Hydrogen for things like this (one-time use balloon) and preserve more Helium for scientific and medical use (and for safe party balloons)?

    Or is helium depletion no longer a pressing problem with the current natural gas boom?

    Hydrogen has been largely discredited as the root cause of the Hindenberg disaster, is it possible to use it safely in a high altitude research balloon?

  • Re:ha! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Splab ( 574204 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @01:05PM (#41650191)

    For me Red Bull sure is doing a lot for pushing science - granted, it's mostly "How can I make this go faster with less safety" - but the result of their various experiments are helping the greater good, just think about all the advancements in the field of patching people up after "Hey, Y'all watch this" moments.

  • Re:Hydrogen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @01:09PM (#41650217)

    Are you high or something? Or is scientific stuff only the stuff you approve of?

    Well, I'm more interested in the medical usage - about six months ago, my dad had to reschedule an MRI, the imaging center said that there was a shortage of helium needed to run the unit. He had a non-critical need for his MRI so rescheduling was not a problem, but I have to think that the 30 million cubic feet of helium that they are venting to the atmosphere in this thrill ride would keep a lot of MRI machines running. []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @02:27PM (#41650711)

    Forgot to add:

    The speed of sound is the distance travelled during a unit of time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium. In dry air at 20 C (68 F), the speed of sound is 343.2 metres per second (1,126 ft/s). This is 1,236 kilometres per hour (768 mph), or about one kilometer in three seconds or approximately one mile in five seconds.

  • Re:LAME (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Russ1642 ( 1087959 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @02:34PM (#41650765)
    I find it amazing that he didn't break the sound barrier. How can their calculations have been wrong? I would have thought with the effort that went into this they'd have been able to predict exactly how fast he'd go, how high he'd jump from, etc.
  • Re:Redbull (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bytesex ( 112972 ) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @03:08PM (#41651071) Homepage

    He was also in a pressure suit the severely limited his motion. Maybe he was just too busy to talk, trying to figure out how to get certain things done.

  • by EmagGeek ( 574360 ) <(gterich) (at) (> on Sunday October 14, 2012 @07:43PM (#41652935) Journal

    Am I the only one who thought that idiotic ground controller was going to get him killed?

    Between advising him to skip a vital step in the checklist, and being incapable of responding to his repeated requests for an accurate weather report on the way down, it's amazing he made it down unscathed.

    You could even hear people screaming at him to get his shit together in the background when he told the jumper to skip the step in the checklist, and when he repeatedly gave him incorrect weather information.


It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's