Breaking Records and the Sound Barrier

Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner (left) with Joe Kittinger, who set the record for world’s highest parachute jump in 1960. Baumgartner hopes to break that record in 2010 with a supersonic “space dive” from the edge of space. Credit: Red Bull Stratos/DNA. Text from space.com.

No one has yet broken the record for the highest skydive since 1960 when Joseph Kittinger space-dove from 102,800 feet. Kittinger did not seem to consider himself to be a daredevil in any way, but rather made his jumps for the sake of knowledge.

Now, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner, will be attempting to beat the height by a few miles with the blessings of Mr. Kittinger himself. The title of my earlier post on Kittenger, “Utterly Alone“, doesn’t seem to work very well when applied to Baumgartner’s record breaking attempt even though his jump will provide useful data for NASA and other private space flight companies.  It’s sponsored by Red Bull and will be publicized.  It’s essentially being done by private companies while Kittenger’s flight was sponsored by the government.

I found two articles on this event on Space.com here and here.  I hope to follow Felix’s attempt when it takes place this year.

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