back to article Skydiving daredevil Baumgartner leaps from 96,000ft

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner is closing on the world's highest free-fall record after jumping yesterday from 96,640ft (29,455m). Baumgartner plummeted at a rate of 364.69 miles per hour (586.92km/h) during his second jump over Roswell, New Mexico, which lasted 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Back in March, he made his first …

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  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Bet you cant even avoid the bloody

    olympics up there either!

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    No prizes for second best

    > Baumgartner took the second-highest free-fall crown

    Maybe that qualifies me for the 5-billionth "crown"?

    Anyway, it's only the last few millimetres that matter

  3. Roger Kynaston
    Go

    Cool

    whatever, I wish him luck. Though if he really wants to be hardcore he should design an ablating suit that lets him step out of the ISS and fall to earth from there.

  4. Mako

    Re: Cool

    I'd think it would need some rockets on it, too. If he just "stepped out" of the ISS, he'd probably run out of air long before drag pulled him out of orbit.

    Come to think of it, that would probably be the case even if he pushed himself Earthward out of the airlock.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Cool

    I think you're probably right: Ground speed of the ISS is apparently roughly 7.7km/s, so a jaunty leap out of the hatch isn't going to add or subtract much from that figure.

    Having said that though, Richard Kiel managed it way back in the 70s.

  6. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Re: Cool

    Orbital velocity of ISS is not so important in this case. Once you pushed something towards Earth from the ISS it will eventually fall down, the question is how long will it take to cross the 300 or so km from the station until the atmosphere starts to bite...

    If you jump at 3 m/s it will take a bit more than 27 hours, so you will need to take a big tank of O2 with you and, maybe, a Kindle.

  7. Mako

    Re: Cool

    I thought that Jaws and the little blonde girl stayed on the station drinking champagne while it disintegrated? Long time since I saw Moonraker though.

    Anyway, it's worth knowing that NASA actually planned for this sort of thing. Imagine how desperate you'd have to be to try using this;

    http://www.astronautix.com/fam/rescue.htm

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  9. Mr Jolly

    Re: Cool

    Not so. If you're on the ISS and push something earthwards, it'll be in almost exactly the same orbit as the ISS.

    After 1/2 an orbit, the velocity of the downward shove will be carrying the object slightly away from the earth.

  10. Phuzi
    Go

    Re: Cool

    True, you'll need to scrub off a lot of the orbital velocity otherwise you're just in a slightly different orbit.

  11. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Re: Cool

    Yes, you're right. It will just move it to a slightly more eccentric orbit.

  12. Richard Ball

    Re: Cool

    If you jumped from a platform that is in a circlar (i.e. elliptical) orbit, you'd just go into an adjacent orbit whose shape is a slightly different ellipse.

    You wouldn't just keep descending or ascending. To do that takes a load of work.

    So after 27 hours your new orbit will have diverged from the original somewhat in its position, but it will not have accumulated a gross difference in height or speed.

    If you find you're going faster / lower when over the UK, chances are you'll be going slower and/or higher 45 minutes later when you're over Oz.

  13. Mister_C
    Pint

    Ground Crew

    That's a pretty scary piece of crane driving too - launching the pod like a paper plane

  14. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    About 2:30 into the video..

    I noticed that capsule appeared to have more switches and controls than a space shuttle! In an unpowered capsule? Was it just me?

  15. Khaptain Silver badge

    What a view

    That must have been an incredible andrenalin rush the moment he opened to door to that capsule. He was then able to sit on the edge of the door and observe the earth in a manner that only the Astronauts know.

    Kudos to Felix. It's a rich mans exercise but still requires a bucket load of courage.

  16. Anonymous IV
    Thumb Down

    Re: What a view

    Can't be long before Richard Branson tries the same thing. It would be a good distraction from giving his name to increasingly dysfunctional companies...

  17. taxman
    Thumb Up

    No cigar though

    until he surfs down (see Doolittle in Darkstar).

  18. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

    Re: No cigar though

    1960 Corvette. But leave the Loc-Nar behind.

  19. jolly
    Black Helicopters

    Missing footage

    So at one point he's on the edge of the pod, the next he's stood on the ground. Have they lost the footage of the bit in between?

    For all I know they videoed him standing on the ground before he took off and he's actually still up there in space.

  20. Super Fast Jellyfish
    Pint

    Re: Missing footage

    There's a bit more coverage of the actual jump rather than the background on the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18994387

  21. The last doughnut
    Happy

    Huh, the dude can be as much of a daredevil as he likes - he's never going to convince anyone he hasn't got a silly name.

  22. davefb

    I'd rather he didn't break the record

    Kittingers record is so insane that it should stand for 'all time'. Good luck to him though.

  23. Crisp Silver badge
    Coat

    LOHAN

    Can't you just send this guy up with LOHAN and a box of matches?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where do they get the money?

    Red bull have one slightly niche product what occupies say at most a tenth the shelf space of bottled water or coca cola in most outlets I know. They're not even the most popular murky-tasting energy drink, yet they seem to have a limitless budget for bankrolling extreme sports, motor sports (how many teams in F1 this year?), global tv advertising not to mention the less visible stuff. Where does all the cash come from? Are they a front for SMERSH?

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Mr Young

    Re: Where do they get the money?

    A quick look and it seems Red Bull turnover was more than EUR 4 billion in 2011. I'm sure they can afford some fun with that - trebles all round etc. Although - I haven't even tasted the stuff before?

  27. Ian 5
    Paris Hilton

    3:06 - seriously?!

    WTF - is that really chest hair?!

    I mean, Kudos to Felix, but that guy... just... wow.

    Paris, she has stuff to hold onto there.

  28. Captain DaFt

    kudos to his chutzpah

    I'd never try anything like that, too afraid of making a big impression in the world!

  29. Graham Jordan

    If Virgin Galactic offered this

    I'd sell my wife, mum, home, and even rights to my anus for a go. That is insane. God even if your shoot didn't pop it'd be one hell of a way to go.

  30. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    Re: If Virgin Galactic offered this

    It has been discussed at various conferences and meetings.

    Normal skydivers hit about 120mph when the size of the drag force equals the acceleration due to gravity. But with no *effective* atmosphere to stop you speeding up you continue to accelerate (BOTE suggests you can hit M3 in a dive. Something normally experienced by X15 pilots or SR71 crews)

    The fun really starts when you hit more dense air (falling at that speed the air density rise *quickly*) and estimates were you'd hit about -7g (eyeballs out) for 10s of seconds before continuing to slow at a few g

    If you're the sort of person whose heard the description and is thinking "I live for this s**t" then it's probably for you.

  31. Daniel Owen

    I imagine the thickening of atmosphere would be a very similar feeling to deploying a parachute.

    Not sure if they use a drogue to slow down freefall (very much like a tandem instructor would).

  32. elderlybloke
    Pint

    He got training

    from the man who did the first,and so far, the highest/greatest distance away jump.

    I have seen a photo of this Johnny Come Lately with the original Space Jumper

    Much would have been learned from the Pioneer.

    The Pioneer did it as part of the testing programme for Apollo Moon Landing affair the Yanks had to show those Commies who was the smartest and best etc.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what ever happened to "terminal velocity"?

    so, as the subject says, what ever happened to terminal velocity? many understand that to be 120mph or so... so how/why did he achieve this high speed?

    does terminal velocity have a height or atmosphere thickness limit and the higher you go, the higher terminal velocity is?

  34. Mr Young
    Thumb Up

    Re: what ever happened to "terminal velocity"?

    In the UK terminal velocity is around 78mph - after that you get a remote fine in the post which you pay off online - phew didn't die again; I seem to recall 18,500mph+ is around enough for orbit?

  35. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Boffin

    Re: what ever happened to "terminal velocity"?

    Nothing.

    Within the atmosphere once you step out you have 2 forces acting on you. Gravity makes you fall faster but there is also *drag* from the air hitting your body. It's called dynamic pressure. It's what you feel if you stick you hand out of a car window palm facing the direction of travel face on.

    Give the average surface area of a person it works to be about 120mph which is "Terminal velocity.". It's the *equilibrium* speed between the 2 forces and is an application of Stokes law.

    But now you're *outside* the sensible atmosphere so there is no *balance* and gravity can keep on accelerating you. The USAF officers in the early 1960's (Project "Man High" IIRC) are believed to have hit M1 *before* they hit the the sensible atmosphere and started to decelerate *hard* back down to the equilibrium speed for their mass and surface area.

    An interesting case would be for a body like the Moon, with virtually *no* atmosphere to stop you (but a much weaker gravitational pull) . How high could you fall from? With no equilibrium you could hit pretty fast .

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  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: what ever happened to "terminal velocity"?

    thanks, john smith 19... that makes sense and is easy enough to understand... i actually did think about the thinner atmosphere not having enough push to keep you slowed down but i guess i just didn't take it far enough...

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