That jump

By Grant Jacobs 15/10/2012

Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump is all over the internet.

Extreme Tech has an excellent account of the equipment used and some of the issues involved, as well as an account of the jump that’s well worth reading. Some more basic science and technology background is available on the Red Bull Stratos website.

The jump itself is now available on YouTube (video below). The BBC has a long article describing the jump and background.

It’s extraordinary to watch him keep falling for as long as he does. Watching him spin is worrying. I cannot yet find* a video of the excellent press conference that followed, but some quotes are on i09. During this Felix spoke – it was excellent to here his descriptions of some of what he experienced and did. He explained that within the space suit he couldn’t feel the wind as he might usually, so he had to experiment what would bring him out of the spin without the sense of wind adding him. Watch for yourself:

There’s even a Lego version! For those new to this, Lego re-takes of famous events are a bit of a trend on YouTube.

Update (10:40 am, October 16th)

The media goofs (see Footnote) get worse. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports that Baumgartner travelled faster that the speed of light:

Ah, yes, that’s fast. A little too fast.

(He travelled faster than the speed of sound, approximately 1,236 kilometres per hour. As most will know, the speed of light is roughly 300,000 kilometres a second. At that sort of speed he’d hit the ground in a very small fraction of a second. [Readers can work out exactly how long if they feel like it!] H/T Ben Dimiero.)


Bora Zivkovic, among others, have noted that AP initially reported the jump as from a comparatively modest 28,000 feet, rather than ~128,000 feet. Erp! It  seems some still haven’t corrected it. As he notes, it does suggest copy’n’paste journalism.

* Leaving aside some very poor quality ‘screen capture’ efforts. It was offered as a live stream, which is now closed.

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