Sunday, October 14, 2012

Felix Baumgartner Makes Highest-Ever Skydive

Austrian adventurer Felix Baumgartner has successfully completed a skydive from a record height of 128,000 feet, which is just over 24 miles.  It took him about 10 minutes to descend from his balloon capsule to the ground in New Mexico.  Whether he met his other goal of exceeding the speed of sound during the jump has not yet been determined.  The height record will not be official until it is confirmed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.

Baumgartner's "Capcom" (capsule commander) was none other than the man whose record he broke, retired Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger, now in his eighties, who jumped from an altitude of 102,800 feet (about 19 and 1/2 miles) in 1960.

Baumgartner's feat gives me a chance to revive a label we used during my time at AndRightlySo, and which I certainly mean as a compliment:  Badass.

Read more at BBC News, the Telegraph, the Washington Post, USA Today and PopSci. has this infographic with some technical details.  Blogger's video search feature has turned up this record of the jump.  During the first few minutes, you can hear the audio from Baumgartner and Col. Kittinger.

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