Sunday, October 14, 2012
Felix Baumgartner - Space Man
Since Roberta X and Tam alerted me to this event this morning, I was able to watch it live along with 7 million of my closest friends. I wonder if this set some kind of YouTube record. I mean, that's more than one person out of a thousand on the entire planet. Red Bull, the energy (?) drink maker sponsored this event. Giant balloon made out of old sandwich bags which they had somehow split into five layers and then seamless glued them all together, filled with gas near Roswell, New Mexico, and then let go. It reached an altitude of 128,000 feet (24 miles) whereupon they began the step-off-edge checklist. First order of business was to depressurize the capsule. Don't do it all at once, want to make sure your pressure suit is holding before you give away all your air. By the time they got the door open, the balloon had dropped down to 127,000 and something. Felix sat there for a minute after he got the door open. The ground controller is telling him to step outside, but Felix isn't moving. I think he was taking in the view. I think I would have spent a couple of hours looking at the view. A few seconds later though, Felix stepped outside and then stepped off into nothing. 2 hours plus to go up, five minutes to come back down. Preliminary estimates of his speed exceed 700 MPH. He was tumbling pretty good for a while, not spinning, but definitely tumbling, but eventually he got down to where there was some air and he straightened out.