Jump to content
  • entries
    4
  • comments
    23
  • views
    1,785

World's first space dive


Yuri Armstrong

144 views

 Share

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18427-space-diver-to-attempt-first-supersonic-freefall.html

A "space diver" will try to smash the nearly 50-year-old record for the highest jump this year, becoming the first person to go supersonic in freefall. The stunt could help engineers design escape systems for space flights.

On 16 August 1960, US Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger made history by jumping out of a balloon at an altitude of some 31,333 metres. "I stood up and said a prayer and stepped off," he recalled

This is amazing. He's going to reach supersonic speeds on his way down. From 120,000 feet you can see the Earth and the space around.

Not only is this an exciting attempt to break the world record for the highest jump (31 km), this is also a bit of data to see if astronauts can bail out of a spacecraft if they're in danger.

Here's a video of the record:

 Share

9 Comments


Recommended Comments

Won't he burn up?

His terminal velocity is probably going to be too slow for the heat that can get through his suit, which is a modified version of a space suit, to do any harm.

He'll be free falling for around 21.5 miles before he pulls the chute though. That would be one hell of a jump.

Link to comment

His terminal velocity is probably going to be too slow for the heat that can get through his suit, which is a modified version of a space suit, to do any harm.

He'll be free falling for around 21.5 miles before he pulls the chute though. That would be one hell of a jump.

It's a good thing he isn't afraid of heights. :unsure: I couldn't do something like that. I'd probably pass out.

Link to comment

You know, I get a little nervous around heights too, but once it's high enough, it doesn't really bother me anymore. It might have something to do with having a harder time associating the fall from extreme heights with the landing that isn't quite so present.

Link to comment

The idea that this could possibly be of value to astronauts needing to 'bail out' of errant spacecraft is ludicrous.

Spacecraft orbit at much greater heights, making a bailout impossible. Craft that develop problems before achieving orbit (or those, like Columbia, that have problems during re-entry) are traveling at thousands of miles per hour. Just try stepping outside at that speed. Other than having your arms, legs and head torn off in an instant, and the rest of you turned into a thin red paste spread across the sky, you should be absolutely fine.

There is zero scientific value to this. Hence the reason it's sponsored by Red Bull and not NASA.

Link to comment

The idea that this could possibly be of value to astronauts needing to 'bail out' of errant spacecraft is ludicrous.

Spacecraft orbit at much greater heights, making a bailout impossible. Craft that develop problems before achieving orbit (or those, like Columbia, that have problems during re-entry) are traveling at thousands of miles per hour. Just try stepping outside at that speed. Other than having your arms, legs and head torn off in an instant, and the rest of you turned into a thin red paste spread across the sky, you should be absolutely fine.

There is zero scientific value to this. Hence the reason it's sponsored by Red Bull and not NASA.

While I admit this is mainly being done to break the record and get some publicity for Red Bull's extreme sports campaign there is something that can be gained from this. Spacecraft orbit a lot higher than that, but if they have issues, then it could descend to a safe enough distance for the astronauts onboard to leave the ship.

The reason it's not being sponsored by NASA is because as we've seen in the past, they really don't have any type of discussions or provisions for rescue missions out in space. They pretty much give the people on board one chance to get things right, if not they're dead or they narrowly escape with the help of mission control like the Apollo 13 mission.

The astronauts onboard Columbia could've been rescued. The engineers knew that some damage had been done to the heat shield, but the people in charge decided to not really look into it because there "wasn't much we can do". There could've been a space walk to repair the damaged part, or Atlantis could've been launched on a risky rescue mission.

But that is the topic of another debate. As it stands, it's just pretty cool to see someone jumping for 120,000 feet.

Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...