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Baumgartner Takes Base Jumping to New Heights

Would you call it a giant leap for mankind? Probably not, but it’s quite a step anyway.

From a capsule suspended below a helium filled balloon, Austrian Felix Baumgartner stepped out into thin air recently, 71,581 feet (13.6 miles) above Roswell, New Mexico, and free-fell for the next 3 minutes and 43 seconds before deploying his ‘chute.

Felix Baumgartner about to take the plunge

Photo from dailymail.co.uk.

This was a practise run for his attempt, in a few months, to jump from 120,000 ft, 23 miles, setting a new world record. He was watched by the current record-holder, Joe Kittinger, who seems delighted that someone is out to break his record.

Here’s a video of the jump:

Now, this has started me thinking, (Always likely to break something).

There’s surely not much difference between 23 miles and 62 miles, is there? Very thin air at either height, so the pressure suit should be okay. And if he stepped out of Spaceship 2 (Virgin) where it slows at top of climb, then he would literally be jumping from space.

Main thing is possible heating during “re-entry”. Maybe need a drogue ‘chute deployed up high.

Just a thought.

If it happens, you read about it here, first!

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