questionsanyone hear about the dude skydiving from space?

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Just to save everyone the trouble of opening Calculator, that's almost 23 miles...straight up. Sounds like fun.

edit: He'll break the sound barrier in the first 20K feet. That...that is quick.

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expected free fall time of over 5 minutes... that is a looooong time to be just falling... and falling and falling.

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Felix Baumgartner thru Red Bull has it scheduled in August 2012. 120,000 feet from a balloon.

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NASA has a hard enough time keeping the shuttle cool, think redbulls insurance is going to cover this? Think again. This is a stunt to get more people addicted to something that's bad for them. I'd expect this of Altria (Philip Morris) or Newt, but this is truly irresponsible business.

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well they're taking a balloon up, not a shuttle. and this project has been going on for a couple years. if they're aiming for august, i'd guess that insurance might be something they have figured out already. and by golly, if he can successfully skydive from 120,000 feet, i sure am going to drink more red bull!

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@mschauber: Buzzkill. Btw, don't you think that the guy skydiving would have the phrase "medical insurance" pop into his head when he first heard the plan?

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@mschauber: the shuttle orbits the earth at several thousand miles per hour, so as it enters the atmosphere there is a lot of friction. This guy will be falling at less than mach 2, much less friction than an orbiting spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere.

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@rprebel: A quick google search says terminal velocity for a person is probably somewhere around 60m/s, while the speed of sound is 340.29m/s. Am I missing something? Otherwise I don't think there's any way a falling person will pass the speed of sound.

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@spacemonkey6401: Because of the incredible height, wind resistance will be minimal at the beginning of his fall. He'll break the sound barrier (which will be ~650mph at that height I think), then as he gets closer to Earth the resistance will increase, slowing him down.

I hope that makes sense. It does in my cold/flu addled head lol.

edit: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/02/stratos-space-jump-can-you-fall-faster-than-the-speed-of-sound/

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This isn't a new thing. America's first frays into space involved people going up into the far upper atmosphere in balloons and parachuting back to earth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Excelsior