Live Video: The leap from the edge of space

posted at 12:31 pm on October 14, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

A little break from politics on this Sunday. When this article goes live, you will be able to join, in progress, an attempt at breaking a record which has stood since 1960. At approximately 11:30 AM eastern time this morning, Felix Baumgartner lifted off in a capsule under a massive helium balloon. Over the next two hours, he will attempt to fly it up to more than 120,000 feet – pretty much to the edge of space. Once there, he’s going to … get out.

As the winds calmed Sunday morning, Felix Baumgartner’s team made the critical decision to begin inflating an enormous helium balloon designed to carry him to the stratosphere, where he hoped to make the highest jump in history and become the first sky diver to break the speed of sound. ..

Mr. Baumgartner, wearing a pressurized suit to survive in the near vacuum at the edge of space, planned to step off the capsule above 120,000 feet and quickly break the sound barrier, reaching a speed of more than 700 miles an hour. He expected to free fall for five and a half minutes before deploying his parachute a mile above the ground.

Mr. Baumgartner, a professional daredevil, was backed by a NASA-style mission control operation at an airfield in Roswell that involved 300 people, including more than 70 engineers, scientists and physicians who have been working for five years on the project, called Red Bull Stratos, after the drink company that has financed it.

For those who have the Discovery Channel, they’re covering it live there, with cameras mounted inside and outside the capsule, as well as on the ground. Succeed or fail, they should catch the entire thing on live TV. But if you’d rather get together and chat about it here, I’ll embed the live video feed from Space.com below.

The record that Baumgartner is trying to break was set by one of the last surviving (today) supermen from the early era of space exploration and test pilot glory. Joe Kittinger made his leap more than fifty years ago, and his story is simply amazing. He’s long been a personal hero of mine, as he was to most of us who have ever spent their time in sport skydiving. (I haven’t jumped since the 90′s.) And Joe is not only still alive, he’s on the ground with Felix’s crew, talking him through it as he ascends and prepares to jump.

But enough from me… here’s the video. Enjoy.


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So they’ve basically told the aliens how to get to us. Terrific.

SouthernGent on October 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Not to worry. The aliens don’t WANT to get to us. Haven’t you ever read C. S. Lewis “The Silent Planet”?

Cleombrotus on October 14, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Me, I have more appreciation for the original record holders. Did whole lot more – with a whole lot less.

Hill60 on October 14, 2012 at 9:45 PM

“Sometimes you have to be up really high to realize how small you are.”.

Dasher on October 14, 2012 at 5:50 PM

NOW you’re talking, Felix. Well played and well said.

Cleombrotus on October 14, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Not to worry. The aliens don’t WANT to get to us. Haven’t you ever read C. S. Lewis “The Silent Planet”?

Cleombrotus

out of the silent planet is great. perelandra is better and the third book, this hideous strength, is just kinda scary.

tom daschle concerned on October 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

It’s a blessing he doesn’t have Zero’s ears because if so, per my carefully double-checked calculations, his maximum velocity could never have topped 429.385 MPH.

viking01 on October 14, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Small world. I did the same thing but came up with 429.387 MPH. I’m sure yours is right. Where am I off in my equation?

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

It’s a blessing he doesn’t have Zero’s ears because if so, per my carefully double-checked calculations, his maximum velocity could never have topped 429.385 MPH.

viking01 on October 14, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Small world. I did the same thing but came up with 429.387 MPH. I’m sure yours is right. Where am I off in my equation?

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

May I submit, sir, that you credit President Obama with an additional two one thousandths miles per hour having failed to factor the drag created by the man’s alleged massive intellect?

M240H on October 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM

The whole thing is non-diverse, racist.

Reagan Republican on October 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

The Federal government built and the Roswell city government owns and operates the airfield complex from which the guy took off and where he landed. The Austrian government (currently run by the Social Democratic Party) trained Felix Baumgartner (a special forces guy in the Austrian military) to be a parachutist. The capsule communications guy is a retired USAF colonel (i.e., he was trained by the government as well). The program manager is a retired US Navy Commander (i.e., he was trained by the government as well). The team’s medical director is an eight-year veteran of NASA (another government entity).

But yeah, other than that, John Galt built it all.

Time Lord on October 14, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Funding and specialized training is all well and good, but the point here is the private application of those skills to do something no one has done before using only private funds.

The premise behind “you didn’t build that” is the arrogance that because government was involved in some fashion means it is responsible for the entire end product.

Or to put it another way: “If government hadn’t trained them… someone else would have.” Almost all skillsets predate government implementation of them, government just applies them. Kind of like how the Catholic Church goes places government officials are too afraid to go, but as soon as the Catholic Hospital starts accepting Medicaid, all of a sudden it’s the government curing the sick.

BKennedy on October 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

May I submit, sir, that you credit President Obama with an additional two one thousandths miles per hour having failed to factor the drag created by the man’s alleged massive intellect?

M240H on October 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Hmm, I did calculate making an assumption that there was a reduced amount of surface friction in the temporal region due to, again, an assumption there was some cerebral activity there.

I am off then?

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Me, I have more appreciation for the original record holders. Did whole lot more – with a whole lot less.

Hill60 on October 14, 2012 at 9:45 PM

The original record holder, Joe Kittinger, was an integral part of this project, and in fact today was the CapComm guy who talked Fearless Felix all the way up, and then eased him out the front door.

Del Dolemonte on October 14, 2012 at 10:50 PM

When those people ran up to meet him after he’d landed, they should have been dressed as apes. I was a bit disappointed on that score.

Sharke on October 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM

You didn’t reply to me.

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Sorry, was there a question?

Time Lord on October 14, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I am off then?

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 10:48 PM

A simple mis-observation-

Looking at the calculation of the drag coefficient, Cd = D/.5 x p x (V x V) x A, i.e. the drag.coefficient is equal to the measured drag divided by one half pressure density times velocity squared times reference area, one must look at that aspect of the reference area that you note- the temporal region.

I believe you have overlooked the hair-raising apprehension the President is experiencing with the ever-increasing prospect of a Romney win. Hence, a greater “surface friction” and, ergo, an reduced velocity and lowered drag coefficient.

M240H on October 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM

why is the video private??

Sachiko on October 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Something is keeping that man a bit ‘slow’ at any rate…

M240H on October 14, 2012 at 11:20 PM

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Sorry, was there a question?

Time Lord on October 14, 2012 at 11:05 PM

No. I’m not capable of formualting a question without the governments help.

M240H on October 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Ah, then it’s true what Dennis Hopper said. You don’t go to Venus with fractions and we can’t do anything without the government.

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM

When those people ran up to meet him after he’d landed, they should have been dressed as apes. I was a bit disappointed on that score.

Sharke on October 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Belly laughing here. You have to go back upthread every once in a while to find the really funny stuff.

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Small world. I did the same thing but came up with 429.387 MPH. I’m sure yours is right. Where am I off in my equation?

hawkdriver on October 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

My calculations to account for ear hair vortices results in a .002 MPH reduction. Now if Obama doesn’t have his chin in the air, as usual, that throws determining compressibility to the wind; so to speak.

viking01 on October 14, 2012 at 11:40 PM

… and Zero’s head being full of rocks moves his center of gravity well forward.

viking01 on October 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Not sure why embeded video now “private”… I used this YouTube search link to find various recent videos about Felix Baumgartner.

E-R

electric-rascal on October 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

This video is private.

Hmmmm.

Russ808 on October 15, 2012 at 4:58 AM

I assume then if the video is private we have to pay to see it?

Badger40 on October 15, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Some blogger forgot that you don’t quit skydiving because you get old, you get old because you quit skydiving. Granted, I’m only 58, but I’m not ready to hang up my rig just yet. Of course, in his case it could be a medical issue. Don’t know.

SKYFOX on October 15, 2012 at 8:59 AM

and the third book, this hideous strength, is just kinda scary.

tom daschle concerned on October 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Kind of prophetic, wouldn’t you say?

Cleombrotus on October 15, 2012 at 10:02 AM

The Federal government built and the Roswell city government owns and operates the airfield complex from which the guy took off and where he landed.

All paid for, built and maintained with money extracted from the private sector.

And built by private contractors since the government isn’t, you know, a construction company.

So not only did John Galt build it, John Galt funded its building as well, and John Galt funds its continued existence.

Good Lt on October 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM

The Federal government built and the Roswell city government owns and operates the airfield complex from which the guy took off and where he landed. The Austrian government (currently run by the Social Democratic Party) trained Felix Baumgartner (a special forces guy in the Austrian military) to be a parachutist. The capsule communications guy is a retired USAF colonel (i.e., he was trained by the government as well). The program manager is a retired US Navy Commander (i.e., he was trained by the government as well). The team’s medical director is an eight-year veteran of NASA (another government entity).

But yeah, other than that, John Galt built it all.

Time Lord on October 14, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Funny all that government training and not one whit of science was accomplished, just a Red Bull stunt.

Actually, now that I think about it, that seems just about right. Consistent with the last 4 years of shenanigans anyway.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Seriously?

We can’t have ONE non-politics related story on here, without you partisan hacks trying to drag Romney/Obama into it?

– Smoov

Smoovious on October 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM

We watched the live coverage of the getting-ready-to-jump stuff, and then were astonished and disappointed to see the video cut off just as he was getting ready to jump.

I understand that they didn’t want to risk showing his death, but they had a delay of several seconds anyway, didn’t they?

I hope this doesn’t inspire everybody else to do the same. Motorcycle jumps over buses will now be done in closed stadiums, with footage released later?

I’m not saying that I’m hoping someone will die in a dangerous activity, but if they want me to cheer for their success, they’ve got to let me watch the action.

KyMouse on October 15, 2012 at 3:15 PM

We watched the live coverage of the getting-ready-to-jump stuff, and then were astonished and disappointed to see the video cut off just as he was getting ready to jump.

KyMouse on October 15, 2012 at 3:15 PM

I watched the live stream on youtube.

It was superb and in HD until it switched to IR.

roy_batty on October 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I understand that Felix Baumgartner is an Austrian citizen. I think it was very gracious of Mr Obama to call Mr Baumgartner to congratulate him on his amazing feat and to talk to Felix in the Austrian language.

I read it on the Internets. I also heard there was a Navy Corpseman on standby in case there was a medical emergency.

Congratulations Felix!

CatchAll on October 15, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Kind of prophetic, wouldn’t you say?

Cleombrotus on October 15, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Hence the aforementioned scariness!

NICE!!

tom daschle concerned on October 16, 2012 at 1:40 AM

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