Posts Tagged highest balloon jump

Alan Eustace Sky Dives From Record Breaking 25 Miles

Alan Eustace rises to record balloon height hanging in his space suit

Alan Eustace rises to record balloon height hanging in his space suit

Well records are made to be broken. I wrote about Felix Baumgartner’s highest-ever balloon ascent in 2012, when he reached 127,851 feet, which is almost 24 miles. It was an exciting and televised event that was called the Red Bull Stratos and had Felix rising inside a capsule that he opened and jumped out of.

But I learned recently that last April 14th, Google executive Alan Eustace rose higher, suspended from another balloon in his space suit as part of the Paragon StratEx (stratospheric explorer) project. Alan released himself at 135,899 feet and made it back safely after a free fall descent and then a parachute.

You can learn more at the StratEx web site and also in this NY Times article .

For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall.

“It was amazing,” he said. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.”

Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at speeds that peaked at 822 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by people on the ground.

Below is the short video available, and a longer documentary is in production. I learned about this achievement from one of the team members who was involved, and her enthusiasm and pride were very exciting to encounter first hand.

Imagine what it must have been like for Alan to say, “Well guys, I am going to take a few days off from work to jump into the atmosphere from 25 miles up. Hope I see you on Monday!”

Tags: , , , , , ,

October 8th Attempt To Break Four Skydiving/Balloon Flying Records

Here is a well-done animation of an upcoming, record-breaking attempt on October 8th: Felix Baumgartner is going to jump out of balloon from 120,000 feet (nearly 23 miles). If everything works out, this Austrian skydiving daredevil will shatter the marks for highest jump, fastest freefall, longest-duration freefall and highest manned balloon flight. He will also become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. You can read more about it here.

helium inflation of 55-story tall balloon

Baumgartner said he is nervous about Monday’s (October 8th, 8 am EDT) leap from the stratosphere. But the 43-year-old—who has jumped from some of the world’s tallest buildings and soared across the English Channel in freefall using a carbon wing—regards a tinge of fear as a good thing.

July landing

“Having been involved in extreme endeavors for so long, I’ve learned to use my fear to my advantage,” Baumgartner said. “Fear has become a friend of mine. It’s what prevents me from stepping too far over the line.”

The pictures are from a test flight this past July in which Felix jumped from “just” 18 miles.

mission summary

You can learn more about the actual jump here and follow it live with 35 cameras. Pretty exciting!

Tags: , , , ,