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Science

World Free-Fall Record Broken, Felix Baumgartner Jumps From 24 Miles High

The new world free-fall record for the highest ever skydive has just been set by Felix Baumgartner, jumping from a weather balloon 24 miles over the ground in New Mexico.
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He had been looking to also break the sound barrier, but so far if he did remains unknown.

BBC has video highlights of his jump up on their site, definitely worth a watch.

The 10 minute long free-fall ‘from the edge of space’ finished with a parachute deployed a few thousand feet above the ground. There had been some concern before the jump as the last minute checks were being performed, since the heater for his visor wasn’t working leading to his visor fogging up. But it was decided to continue with the mission anyways. He did appear to spin towards the beginning of his fall, but did manage to regain stability shortly afterwards.

Felix Baumgartner’s jump has finally broken a record that was set more than 50 years previously. “The previous highest, farthest, and longest freefall was made by Mr Kittinger, who leapt from a helium envelope in 1960. His altitude was 102,800ft (31.3km).”

His record won’t be official until it’s confirmed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), though.

Now that’s it’s done it’s easy to think about it as a foregone conclusion but many others who have tried to break this record have died in the attempts.

According to those involved, they say that the jump also has a great deal of scientific relevance, providing “invaluable data for the development of high-performance, high-altitude parachute systems, and that the lessons learned will inform the development of new ideas for emergency evacuation from vehicles, such as spacecraft, passing through the stratosphere.”

Source: BBC and Wikipedia

Image Credits: Screen-capture via BBC




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