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Felix Baumgartner Prepares for Supersonic Skydive Attempt in New Mexico

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-what-do-you-do-for-excitement? dept.

Transportation 77

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner has tempted fate with quite a few spectacular skydiving feats; now, he is preparing to be the first man to intentionally exceed the speed of sound by jumping from a balloon instead of staying inside a plane or a rocket. The jump is planned for Tuesday over New Mexico. National Geographic lists some of the various (deadly) things that could go wrong.

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Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577231)

the first man to intentionally enter Mexico from the United States!

Re:Also (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578589)

Davy Crockett et al?

as an austrian (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577245)

as an austrian who has been spammed the last year with red bull stratos tv channel ads on the various austrian news sites:

just jump you goddamn corporate whore, i don't care about it or your fucking chemical energy drink.

Re:as an austrian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577295)

just jump you goddamn corporate whore, i don't care about it or your fucking chemical energy drink.

What in hell is "chemical" meant to signify there?

Re:as an austrian (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577325)

i don't care about it or your fucking chemical energy drink.

Exactly, it's about damn time those anti-innovation corporate whores started selling us NUCLEAR energy drinks!

Re:as an austrian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577609)

http://www.yourprops.com/movieprops/original/yp_4f5af6b0ae0605.90746288/Hot-Tub-Time-Machine-2010-movie-props.jpg

Re:as an austrian (1)

Kwpolska (2026252) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577495)

Just a dumb guess: with chemical additives? Or other shit like that?

Re:as an austrian (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577743)

What in hell is "chemical" meant to signify there?

It's totally wrong unless he really thinks the contents of a Red Bull can are absolutely pure and uniform.

Re:as an austrian (0)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578017)

It's totally wrong unless he really thinks the contents of a Red Bull can are absolutely pure and uniform.

Being that Red Bull is made from ground up bull penis I too find it hard to believe...

Re:as an austrian (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41578089)

Perhaps it's an analogue for 'meat' made from the scrapings off the factory floor. Technically it's meat and technically it has a nutritional content but it fsckin well ain't 'hamburger'.

Re:as an austrian (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577585)

just jump you goddamn corporate whore, i don't care about it or your fucking chemical energy drink.

I'm also not sure of the point of all this. He's slightly beating records set back in the 60's [wikipedia.org] . Other than "newer stuff" I'm not aware of any new science used for this or any reason why other to sell a caffeine sugar drink. With that said, maybe it's just enough to do better (higher, faster, longer) simliar to land speed records, etc.

Re:as an austrian (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#41581997)

Uh yeah... it's in the article you didn't read. And Kittinger, who hasn't wanted to help anyone beat his record, is on board for this. He's a Stratos team member and the guy that will be talking to him over the radio.

And the point is, precisely as you wrote, to beat those records. If it were primarily to sell drinks, they would have spent the money on TV commercials. Though I'm not surprised they're putting logos on his jump suit to get what little publicity they can out of it.

So he might be the first to break the sound barrier without propulsion or protection of a vehicle. And while it's not like they haven't thought about it, nobody is entirely sure what could happen.

I'm all for people being crazy enough to push the limits of what's been tried. So I say... "god speed, you crazy SOB." I hope he makes it.

Try doing it without a balloon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577313)

as a certain Time Lord does in the opening to "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe"

He might be mistaken for a tairst. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577335)

Scramble scramble whooosh boom dakkadakkadakka!

Re:He might be mistaken for a tairst. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577397)

or a meteor, he could hit a balloon, then i would feel sorry for the balloon people.

as it is there are already enough crazy people that move to NM and stay, he should do it in some other state before he makes more crazy people move here

Aren't there cheaper ways to kill yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577361)

Good riddance.

Re:Aren't there cheaper ways to kill yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41578287)

article states if/when pressures exceeding -4 G's build up in the skull, blood and spinal fluid are forced outward, and their main escape routes are through the ocular cavities.

the way i see it, this can go (3, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577363)

two ways for the corporate sponsor Red Bull.

1. A successful jump is completed by felix and he enjoys the limited fame that accompanies such a stunt in the form of advertisement and promotion from his sponsor, Red Bull, who in turn reap most of the reward for the act in the form of increased sales and merchandizing rights.

2. Felix, moments after crossing the sound barrier, is torn to shreds in what to bystanders appears as a giant explosion of blood and plastic a few thousand feet in the air. The act is recorded but never released, and Red Bull takes neither responsibility nor interest in the outcome as while it may have advanced science, it did not advance revenue for the quarter.

Re:the way i see it, this can go (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577523)

Last I heard it was going to be streamed live.

Re:the way i see it, this can go (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577703)

It's okay, they'll put a five-second delay in case anything goes wrong. Why, such a thing would be idiot-proof.

Re:the way i see it, this can go (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577875)

Like the recent suicide broadcast live with a 5 second delay after news people on-air indicated a cutaway?

But instead of saying "cut the feed" the anchor should have said "fuck shit fuck" and it'd have been cut. Live snuff film is OK, but no profanity, that might harm the children.

Re:the way i see it, this can go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41579465)

THAT IS THE JOKE.

srsly. here. filler. lowercase. soothed?

Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577511)

He will reach a certain maximum speed on the way down, but the speed of sound is dependent on a number of things [wikipedia.org] and he obviously won't be at sea level in 20 C dry air. Will he be going faster than the speed of sound in water or iron? Where he'll jump from, 99% of the atmosphere is below him and there won't even be a sound or gentle push of air resistance. To my limited knowledge and understanding that is definitely not supersonic.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (4, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577619)

He will be going through air, and if you move through air faster than a sound wave would, there are qualitative changes to your aerodynamics.

He will be at "terminal velocity", which means the force of air resistance will equal his own weight.

Considering what happens to the structure of an airplane as it goes transonic, he's taking some interesting chances. Air moving around a body moves at different speeds in different places. When some of it is supersonic and some isn't things are weirder than when you're completely subsonic or completely supersonic.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577699)

He'll exceed terminal velocity, as he's traveling into denser air.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41578067)

He'll exceed terminal velocity, as he's traveling into denser air.

No, he will never exceed terminal velocity.

His terminal velocity may decrease as he approaches the ground, but he will never exceed the local terminal velocity at any given altitude.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41578913)

That's a very bold claim. Unless you have already done the experiment and crunched the numbers, you cannot know this. It is not some tautological answer derived from definitions... meteors fall into the atmosphere and exceed terminal velocity with great regularity.

Terminal velocity is defined by a steady state balance between the gravitational force and the air resistance. It exists because air resistance varies with velocity, so the faster you go, the higher the resistance. Thus, any overspeed will cause a net deceleration and you eventually achieve this balance of forces, given enough time and no change in these other parameters. This is why planes in practice will reach a maximum level cruise speed, where their engine's thrust is matched by air resistance (unless their thrust is so over-provisioned that something else will fail first, such as aerodynamic stability or structural integrity). The engine replaces the gravitational force in opposition to air resistance.

We know that the ratio between air resistance (for any given speed) and gravity increases dramatically as altitude decreases, and that his mass will let him carry in extra energy (in the form of momentum) achieved at higher altitudes, where this deceleration ratio was lower. As he comes screaming into denser air, his momentum may very well allow him to be moving faster than the "local" terminal velocity, with the air resistance being greater than the force of gravity until enough velocity (and momentum) is burned off to allow the air resistance to balance out with gravity.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (1)

dl_sledding (1624921) | more than 2 years ago | (#41588999)

... until enough velocity (and momentum) is burned off...

^^^ That's the part I'm waiting for: "burned off" is an interesting way to put that...

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#41581617)

His terminal velocity may decrease as he approaches the ground, but he will never exceed the local terminal velocity at any given altitude.

In general objects fall somewhat faster than their terminal velocity because air density increases as one falls. The earlier poster was right.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577821)

He is aiming to exceed 690mph at 100,000 feet, which is the speed of sound at that altitude.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577897)

He will exceed the speed of sound in the medium he's traveling in. That has never been done before. He'll be supersonic by *every* definition of the word, unless you require that it be done at sea level, in which case nobody could survive supersonic, as the water would kill you when you hit it at 700 mph.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577969)

Except if they shoot you out of a cannon horizontally.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41578085)

Hopefully your horizontal velocity is fast enough to keep you in extreeeemely low earth orbit.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578687)

How long is a cannon barrel? Let's be generous and say 100 meters. So, you accelerate from a stop to 340 m/s in 100m. If my napkin math is right (and it often isn't), that's 578 m/s^2 for 100m to reach that speed. 578/9.8 ~ 85g. That'll shoot you, but you'll likely not survive the attempt. And that's not even addressing the issue of the stop at the other end.

Re:Is he really breaking "the speed of sound"? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41581001)

85G? Just put a large bucket at the other end.

First? Perhaps first this year (1, Interesting)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577579)

First man to exceed local speed of sound without a vehicle: Joe Kittinger, 16 August 1960.

Re:First? Perhaps first this year (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577737)

Kittinger jumped from a height of 31km and reached a top speed of 275m/s. Between sea level and 31km the speed of sound is never less than 290m/s.

Re:First? Perhaps first this year (2)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578113)

Kittinger jumped from a height of 31km and reached a top speed of 275m/s

I'm looking at the "Guinness Book of Aircraft Facts & Feats" ( published 1984 ) and it says Kittinger hit 714 mph. That's 320 m / s.

Has that claim been adjusted or invalidated since then?

Genuinely curious.

Thanks

Re:First? Perhaps first this year (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578343)

It is a common misconception that Kittinger exceeded the speed of sound during his fall, but this was not the case. He did reach a peak velocity of 614 mph (988 km/h), however, a mark that still stands as the fastest speed ever reached by a human without a vehicle.

no idea how trustworthy aerospaceweb [aerospaceweb.org] is.

Re:First? Perhaps first this year (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577923)

And I thought that the first person to exceed the speed of sound without a vehicle (as the balloons are vehicles, one must assume the definition to be "while not in one") was a test pilot ejection prior to Chuck. Chuck hold the distinction of the first person to land a plane that traveled above mach1, not the first person to ever travel faster than the speed of sound.

Re:First? Perhaps first this year (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#41581417)

Could find no mention of ejectee exceeding Mach 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ejection_seat [wikipedia.org] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_barrier [wikipedia.org] . There were ejections post-Yeager (note that Yeager's was first _official_ breaking of sound barrier) that took place at supersonic speeds. Baumgartner is trying to surpass Mach 1 in freefall, which as things stand would be notable.

Not Breaking the Sound Barrier (1)

Dyne09 (1305257) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577591)

How exactly would this be moving faster than the speed of sound? Is he jumping from a non-orbiting object above the earth's atmosphere, and then hitting the stratosphere travelling 1,200 miles an hour or something? He will be going at terminal velocity for that altitude, which is (I guess) faster than the speed of sound at a lower level, but not necessarily faster than sound at where he jumps from.

Re:Not Breaking the Sound Barrier (1)

Dyne09 (1305257) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577611)

He will, however, be traveling faster than the speed of light when his chute doesn't open and he digs eight feet into the earth's surface like Wile E. Coyote. Light doesn't travel very fast through granite.

Re:Not Breaking the Sound Barrier (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577809)

Your comment subject seems to be stating a fact, but your comment is all questions...

He will be going at terminal velocity for that altitude, which is (I guess) faster than the speed of sound at a lower level, but not necessarily faster than sound at where he jumps from.

The information here [redbullstratos.com] suggests that exceeding the local speed of sound is exactly what they're hoping to achieve:

At about 100,000 feet above sea level, Felix Baumgartner will need to accelerate to about 690 miles per hour* to match the speed of sound, known as Mach 1. Then if he continues to accelerate and surpasses the speed of sound, he'll be "supersonic."

* that's the speed of sound at 100,000 feet - at sea level it's closer to 760mph.

Re:Not Breaking the Sound Barrier (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577947)

terminal velocity is higher than the speed of sound at that level. So he'll be going faster than the speed of sound at sea level, but he'll also be going faster than the speed of sound in the medium. He'll also be above terminal velocity for most of the free fall (more a logic problem or interesting trivia, but not scientifically interesting).

Re:Not Breaking the Sound Barrier (2)

craigminah (1885846) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577975)

From what I've read, "mach 1" is never higher than ~800mph regardless of altitude so he will in fact be falling faster than the speed of sound.

References:
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/sound.html [nasa.gov]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_sound [wikipedia.org]
http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/atmosphere/q0112.shtml [aerospaceweb.org]
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/elevation-speed-sound-air-d_1534.html [engineeringtoolbox.com]
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=mach+1&a=*MC.mach+1-_*Formula.dflt-&f2=120000+ft&f=MachAlt.H_120000+ft [wolframalpha.com]

Re:Not Breaking the Sound Barrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41669159)

There's less air at that height, thefore less resistance, therefore, he can go much faster than the terminal velocity at lower altitudes

I wish him luck (2)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577613)

I've been waiting eleven years for the end of this story. [wired.com]

"Intentionally?" (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577647)

Has this been done before unintentionally?

Re:"Intentionally?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577883)

The seven astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia certainly didn't count as willing volunteers.

Re:"Intentionally?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577927)

There have been a number of mach 2-3 bailouts from military or reconnaissance aircraft that, other than the seat it self, left the pilot essentially exposed (in flight suit, of course). While some seats have had some pilot shielding, most, including the highly successful SR-1, had little or none.

Re:"Intentionally?" (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577967)

I've heard of a number of people ejecting at supersonic speeds. A fast sub-sonic aircraft will often exceed the speed of sound in a dive (usually destroying the plane quickly, so often entered into only after some other catastrophic event). And people have ejected at those speeds, some even lived.

Using helium gas (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577769)

So, I guess helium gas isn't rare after all? He is, after all, using about 30 million cubic feet of it. Nice use of THAT resource.

Re:Using helium gas (2)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578399)

Helium gas is not rare in the sense of the word that we have an aboundance of Helium in our atmosphere. In fact, 5.2 ppm of our atmosphere is Helium, which is comparable for instance to the aboundance of Arsenic in the Earth's crust (5.5 ppm). The problem being, that it takes too much energy to extract the Helium from the atmosphere to be an actual resource.

National Geographic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577783)

Sorry I have it Murdoch blocked.

Capsule? (1)

kmahan (80459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577827)

What happens to the capsule after he jumps out? Obviously the balloon will pop and then it'll be a streamer behind the capsule as it plummets downward. It'd probably be less than optimal to have that land on your house/car/you. Yes -- the odds are against it but where is it supposed to land? Or does it destruct?

Re:Capsule? (4, Interesting)

geogob (569250) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577941)

Like with most balloon payload, the flight train will separate from the balloon. The parachute will open and the gondola (or capsule) will decent at a reasonable speed. Most likely be reused immediately afterwards.

Balloon flights like these cannot be done anywhere. There are reasons for that. Although it comes down relatively slowly (something around 10 m/s I guess from similar payloads), it can still cause damage. Also, you have a 2 football sized (sorry for the journalistic dimensions) balloon coming down... I wouldn't want to be stuck under that.

The nice thing is that once the flight train is separated, the impact points of both balloon and gondola are very predictable. Much more than the actual balloon flight itself. Decent is fast, and only little affected by winds at altitude.

Balloon flights like these (actually not at all like these, but from the balloon type, payload, etc.) are done all the time. Sometimes during stratospheric research campaigns by the dozen. But launches and landings almost always happen in remote desolated areas such as New Mexico, where you can be fairly sure there is nothing but dust in the probable impact zone.

Re:Capsule? (1)

kmahan (80459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578087)

Interesting -- thanks for the great info!

Is the return of the capsule basically identical to how Baumgartner comes back? So the same basic landing zone?

Re:Capsule? (1)

geogob (569250) | more than 2 years ago | (#41584363)

That I cannot say. I would think it would be in the same general area if the flight train is cut soon after Baumgartner jumps. They Probably wait until he is landed before cutting, as they can than monitor the decent from the gondola as well (with cameras, or other measuring equipment).

Re:Capsule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41582083)

The balloon doesn't 'pop' per se. It is a zero pressure
balloon with vents allowing it to reach equilibrium at a specific
altitude refered to as float altitude. The balloon can be
brought down slowly by valving, or terminated by blowing out a large
patch but it doesn't generally pop. It happens, but it is
rare with stratospheris balloons. The payload is generally
seperated from the balloon prior to bringing it down and returns via a
parachute, in this case i believe they are using a reffed chute to come
down faster then un-reefing the chute as a lower altitude.

NG, what happened to you (5, Informative)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 2 years ago | (#41577915)

It's sad to see that even National Geographic now has to tart up the very real risks of this attempt with dramatic bullshit like the first sentence: "the atmosphere above 12 miles, or 63,000 feet (19,200 meters)—known as the Armstrong line (named for Harry George Armstrong, who founded the U.S. Air Force's Department of Space Medicine in 1947)—is so thin that, if not protected, human blood will literally boil. To prevent that, Baumgartner's airtight suit and the capsule around him will be continuously pressurized to create a personal atmosphere that isolates him from the void surrounding him."

Nonsense. Even if you're in an environment of pure vacuum, your circulatory system is *pressurized*. This is called "blood pressure." Your blood will not boil in space. It will outgas, as dissolved gases in it come out of solution, but that's not boiling; Scuba divers who ascend too rapidly get the bends as N2 leaves solution, but their blood doesn't boil, they don't die. Fluids exposed to atmosphere, like the water on the surface of the eyes and lining the mucous membranes will boil, but not the blood.

"The smallest crack in this protective layer would cause almost immediate death."

Again, why tart this up? The guy who holds the current record and who's helping with this jump, Joe Kittinger? He suffered a "crack" in his "protective layer," in one of his gloves. His hand swelled up like a balloon, and it hurt, and he had some bruising/soft tissue damage, but he continued with the mission and his hand returned to normal size when he descended and healed normally.

Sad to see National Geographic turning into Discover.

Re:NG, what happened to you (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578569)

without commerce, there is no science

without science, there is no commerce

learn to be a little more comfortable with the interplay between the two

you may now spit on me from your ivory tower for even suggesting this (rolls eyes)

science cannot be debased, because science is not some fundamentalist religion

there is absolutely nothing wrong with the circus atmosphere, as the this entire event is indeed a circus

of course the wording is not 100% scientifically accurate. this is not lies and falsehoods like with creationists, this is dramatic license. it's ok. really. little kids or hoi polloi watching this event don't know, don't care, and are not misserved by the dramatic language. really

as with real religious fundamentalists who can't stand scantily clad women on tv: just turn the channel, and don't watch

no one is forcing you to tune in, and your judgments are not useful nor warranted. your words just serve some sort of haughty need of yours

get a grip and get used to the fact commerce is needed to fund the science, and that requires some drama

no big deal

Re:NG, what happened to you (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 2 years ago | (#41591311)

Me personally, I'm fine with dramatic language to describe the event. But dramatic license, i.e. falsehoods? Give me a fucking break.

Every single time I've read a debunking of some false, seemingly true, scientific "fact" I used to believe; the truth turned out to be far more interesting. Any science writer who can't convey this to his or her audience should be looking for another job.

Re:NG, what happened to you (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#41612473)

you want science journalists to magically impart college level science knowledge to their audience in 10 minutes time? you expect the impossible

in real life you cut corners and dumb things down to preserve interest and excitement, and that's fine. if the person is more interested, they will learn the real truths, just as you describe your own experience. furthermore, if that excitement and interest wasn't preserved by dumbing things down, maybe less people would be interested enough to make the journey to better scientific understanding

you're really quite wrongheaded in your approach. science is not an ivory tower. it needs to be accessible. but what you want would make it dry, boring, legalistic and would turn children and otherwise motivated layfolk away from it

Re:NG, what happened to you (2)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#41579639)

Fluids exposed to atmosphere, like the water on the surface of the eyes and lining the mucous membranes will boil, but not the blood.

Even that process is extremely slow. Here's an experience I've had that demonstrates this pretty clearly. Wet the inside of a vacuum flask (i.e., one reinforced with some kind of rubber or plastic so that it doesn't implode hazardously when you evacuate it). Pour out all the water, but leave droplets all over the inside surface. Pump on it with a vacuum pump. It takes *hours* for the water droplets to evaporate completely.

Re:NG, what happened to you (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 2 years ago | (#41582629)

Did you keep those droplets warmed to 37C? Baumgartner's skin will probably be a lot colder than that, but membranes in his mouth and throat will be kept pretty close to internal body temperature.

Re:NG, what happened to you (4, Funny)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 2 years ago | (#41580405)

Indeed, reading this kind of nonsense makes my blood boil.

Wait, what?

Re:NG, what happened to you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41582041)

It will outgas, as dissolved gases in it come out of solution, but that's not boiling; Scuba divers who ascend too rapidly get the bends as N2 leaves solution, but their blood doesn't boil, they don't die.

Err, actually, if you go up fast enough then it is more than possible to kill yourself with the bends; that's the most common cause of fatal accidents in Scuba diving (much more common than drowning, for instance).

Terminal velocity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577953)

I thought there was a maximum speed the human body could achieve in free fall? Or has science been LYING to me?

Re:Terminal velocity? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578019)

Too lazy to look up the numbers but I think that the terminal velocity of human body in a free fall is pretty close to the speed of sound, like 4/5ths, even at lower altitudes. At high altitude this will be higher because of less drag which will also be affected by the jumper positioning his body in a way to minimize drag. So it is possible, I guess.

Re:Terminal velocity? (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#41579867)

Complete nonsense. Terminal velocity of a skydiver who is assuming the customary body orientation, in the lower atmosphere, is 54 m/s (121 mph - mach 0.16). If his orientation is changed to minimum drag, either through inexperience, loss of consciousness, or deliberately, terminal velocity can reach as much as 90 m/s or more, but this is still under mach 0.3.

Of course there is some variation with body weight and type, but most skydivers are pretty physically fit.

As you point out, and as is obvious, terminal velocity is much higher at high altitude.

Re:Terminal velocity? (1)

EnglishDude (580283) | more than 2 years ago | (#41595551)

"Most skydivers are pretty physically fit"

You've not visited my dropzone then, and obviously don't know me!

Re:Terminal velocity? (2)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#41579035)

Terminal velocity is a product of the gravitational acceleration versus the air resistance. The resistance is dependant on the density of the atmosphere and is much less at the 100,000 feet point where he will try and hit the speed of sound. As he comes lower, the increasing density will slow him down to the terminal velocity at that altitude.

There actually a difference in terminal velocity between ground level and the 10,000 feet that routine skydiving happens from, about 2% per 1000 feet.

why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41577973)

Seems like a waste of helium to me.
It sure isn't going to compel me to buy any RedBull.

Supersonic ejection from F15 (2)

thygate (1590197) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578127)

This pilot tells his story of ejecting from an F15 at super sonic speed, his weapons officer did not survive : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HecyxhXDepU [youtube.com]

Re:Supersonic ejection from F15 (2)

thygate (1590197) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578209)

It felt like somebody had just hit me with a train. When I went out into the wind-stream, it ripped my helmet right off of my head. Broke all the blood-vessels in my head and face. My head was swollen the size of a basketball, my lips were the size of a cucumber. My left elbow was dislocated and pointed backwards, the only thing holding my leg on was an artery, the vane, the nerve and the skin. The navigator died instantly upon ejection.

Re:Supersonic ejection from F15 (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#41578869)

However this is referring to the rapid change from no wind to 800 mph (the pilot's estimate if I heard correctly) of wind smashing his entire body. Pretty sure Felix wont be feeling this. But interesting story nonetheless.

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