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Would You Jump From A Balloon At 120,000 Feet?

Posted in Bizarre, Death Wish, Human Powered Vehicles, Newsworthy, Videos by Kurt Ernst | May 26th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Because I certainly wouldn’t, which is what sets us apart from Felix Baumgartner. The accomplished parachutist has BASE jumped from the Petronas Towers and flown across the English Channel using a specially designed wing parachute. If things go as planned this summer, he’ll ride a Red Bull sponsored balloon to a height of 23 miles over the New Mexico desert, then he’ll simply step out into the void. His goal is to break both the record for the highest parachute jump and to break the sound barrier during his descent. Without any aircraft, dressed only in a pressurized and heated suit.

The current record for the highest parachute jump belongs to Joe Kittinger, who set it back in 1960 when he jumped from a Project Excelsior balloon at 102,800 feet. Kittinger, then a captain in the Air Force, volunteered for the jump in order to test pressurized suit design for our newly launched space program. Kittinger’s maximum velocity (before his stabilization chute opened at 96,000 feet) was 614 miles per hour, estimated to be 90% of the speed of sound. In the fifty years since he set the record, there have been numerous attempts to break it, none successful.

Found on: Autopia

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