From the Edge of Space

The highest free fall ever. To the above is the amazing sight of a human being poised on the step of a capsule suspended from a balloon, ready to jump to the earth below from the edge of space.  There is little doubt the picture will become an Icon for the accomplishments of a single human being. It took the 695 tell balloon two and a half hours to reach the altitude seen in the picture…128,000 feet. Half way through the journey to near space the capsule containing Baumgartner reached the Armstrong limit - the point in the atmosphere where the pressure is so low, that the blood in the body would begin to boil at normal body temperature.

Look at the background in the picture and you can see the curve of the earth. It is an view of the earth that few of us will ever see and Felix Baumgartner jumped from that heighth with nothing but a space suit and a parachute.  You can see the full 10 minute trip back to earth here.  At one point Felix Baumgartner reaches a speed of 729.00 – not breaking the speed of sound as he had hoped.  What he did accomplish was the greatest freefall distance, longest time in freefall, the highest vertical speed in freefall, and the highest absolute altitude reached by manned balloon records. And the man being the microphone on earth? Joe Kittinger, who set the previous record for a high altitude balloon jump which was stood since 1962.

One of the most telling comments from viewers was “That awkward moment when you realize an energy drink has a better space program than your nation.”  Here are some of the others:

“ The real question here is how did Felix fit his giant balls into that space suit?”

“Ironically proving that Red Bull does NOT give you wings.”

“I jump from space – the best chat up line ever.”

And the best comment ever. It embodies the picture.

“ Lesson for the Week: ☀ Nothing is Impossible … Just Jump ☀”

Perhaps because of the bravery of Felix Baumgartner it will make it possible for the rest of us earth bound gamers to make a journey to near space, if not outer space, at least once in our lifetimes.


See you online,

Julie Whitefeather





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