Sunday, October 14, 2012

Felix Baumgartner Breaks Records With Red Bull Stratos Space Jump

Jay Nemeth/Red Bull Content Pool
Today, millions of people around the world were glued to their TV screens and computers as Felix Baumgartner became the most bad-ass person in the world!  Baumgartner jumped from a capsule 128,100 feet above the earth and we watched the entire thing play out as it happened.  (Many of you watched here on POParitaville.)  The drama that unfolded in front of us was something that this generation has never experienced before, and it was f'n intense.

Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
Prior to the jump happening, there tension got really high when it looked like a problem with his visor's heater could cause them to abort the mission.  It was decided by the mission team that they would still be able to do the jump.  He made was way outside the capsule and said, "The whole world is watching.  I wish you could see what I can see.  Sometimes you have to get up really high to see how small you are.  I'm going home now."  With that, he gave a salute to the planet and jumped.

Take a much smaller jump and watch highlights from the event.  

Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Credit: Bull Content Pool
There was a point during the freefall that he appeared to be tumbling out of control.  As a matter of fact, we've heard that CNN dropped the live feed at this point because they didn't think he would survive.  (Which is why I was watching it on Discovery.)  But survive is exactly what he did.

During the post-jump press conference Felix said,

"The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I’d just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I’d lose consciousness. I didn’t feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself.  We’ll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be."

According to the preliminary numbers he did break the sound barrier.  It's being reported that he reached 833.9 MPH (Mach 1.24) during his freefall.  

Holy crap, that's fast!!

The fact that he was able to gain control and make it safely to the ground gives hope to the future of human spaceflight.  It also proves that 2012 has been an incredible year for science.  First we were drawn to the Curiosity Rover landing on Mars.  Then, people came out in droves to bid a farewell to the Space Shuttle Endeavour.  Now, we live in a world where a man jumped from space and landed on his feet.

Congratulations to Felix Baumgartner and the entire Red Bull Stratos team on such an amazing accomplishment.

To quote @kkjordan on Twitter, "Your move, Monster Energy."

According the jump's broadcaster, we can expect a two-hour documentary about the Stratos Jump to air on BBC next month.

What say you?

POPped in the stratosphere
Jungle Jesse

Source: Red Bull Stratos

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