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Submission + - Felix Baumgartner Is Space Diving in Pursuit of Science (txchnologist.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: This summer, an Austrian named Felix Baumgartner plans to ride a 600-foot tall balloon halfway up the stratosphere. When he reaches 120,000 feet, he will jump.

What happens next is swathed in mystery, but a few things are certain. For a short time inside his pressurized spacesuit, Baumgartner, a professional BASE jumper, will be the fastest man alive. Thirty seconds after leaping, he’ll exceed the speed of sound in the thin upper atmosphere by traveling almost 700 miles per hour. And if he safely parachutes to the ground between 12 and 15 minutes later, he’ll walk away with at least four new records: the highest skydive, the longest free-fall, the first to reach supersonic speeds in free-fall, and the highest manned balloon ride.

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Felix Baumgartner Is Space Diving in Pursuit of Science

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  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @04:27PM (#39065087) Homepage
    120k feet, less than 37 km, is (at least as agreed by most of the planet, the Karman line at 100 km) only ~1/3 of the way (and still less than 1/2 by the looser standard of ~80 km, sometimes used by very few places). Rounding it up - more on the surface than in space.
    Unless I missed some new trend, say, of telling people they are near their destination after traveling only ~1/3 of the way there (and by far the easiest 1/3)

    Furthermore, "for a short time inside his pressurized spacesuit, Baumgartner [...] will be the fastest man alive" (I assume in relation to Earth) can be also easily seen as going too far - he won't be faster than the crew of ISS (at over 7 km/s, over one order of magnitude faster, BTW also free-falling) for example; it's also quite possible that some supersonic fighter pilot might be faster at that moment.

    Yeah, "in a spacesuit" ...which is, really, just a type of spacecraft (miniature one) - and I don't see why the specific type of spacecraft you're doing the skydive / free-fall in should matter that much (ISS crews doing much "purer" and longer one routinely; the record of 437 days done on Mir by Valeri Polyakov, quite a bit longer than a few minutes; either way, typical spacewalk lasts for several hours, obviously also in a spacesuit, and very clearly in a free-fall - that's what being in orbit is)

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