Up, up and away in my beautiful [Red Bull] balloon
October 1, 2012 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Next Monday, "Fearless" Felix Baumgartner will attempt to break the sound barrier. Skydiving. Over Roswell, New Mexico. Having jumped from his balloon and an altitude of 23 miles.
From the AP: "Then there’s the risk of a flat spin, in which Baumgartner loses control of his body during the free fall and starts spinning. A long, fast spin, if left unchecked, could turn his eyeballs into blood-soaked, reddish-purple orbs, and he could be left temporarily blind. Also, a massive blood clot could form in his brain. 'All the things that can happen are varying degrees of bad,' offers Baumgartner’s top medical man, Dr. Jonathan Clark, a former NASA flight surgeon."
posted by wensink (392 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
In the advent of a flat spin, temporary blindness may be very temporary.
posted by mr. digits at 3:51 PM on October 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you want to read more we've had several great posts that cover Kittinger's early record jumps in various forms.
posted by Science! at 3:55 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds better than "Foolhardy" Felix Baumgartner, I guess.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:56 PM on October 1, 2012


Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful crater.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:57 PM on October 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


This pic makes me nearly wet myself.
posted by Mojojojo at 4:02 PM on October 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Perhaps he will travel so fast as to go back in time, all the way to 1947..
posted by mannequito at 4:03 PM on October 1, 2012


Teaser clip of a test jump.
posted by Science! at 4:08 PM on October 1, 2012


Is 'God speed' an appropriate thing to say here? Anyway, best of luck to him.
posted by carter at 4:09 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yep, the Balloon Fiesta starts next weekend here in Albuquerque. I suppose his attempt will be covered here as part of that.

I really want to make an alien joke, here.
posted by annsunny at 4:10 PM on October 1, 2012


“After this,” he promises, “I’m going to retire because I’ve been successfully doing things for the last 25 years and I’m still alive.”

YOU FOOL WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 4:11 PM on October 1, 2012 [42 favorites]



I need to figure out how to make more money, because I would totally do this.

And I'm terribly acrophobic - I can't even climb a ladder.

But this! This would be sawheeet.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:14 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's disappointing that some people will go to any extremes to avoid the presidential debates.
posted by Wordshore at 4:23 PM on October 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


'All the things that can happen are varying degrees of bad,'

Umbrella turns inside out?
posted by biffa at 4:25 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find it hard to believe he will make that jump in the suit pictured, though - won't there be something more streamlined? I thought the first supersonic X-1 flights were troubled by boiling fuel because the lines were routed too close to the skin of the aircraft?
posted by CynicalKnight at 4:28 PM on October 1, 2012


Is 'God speed' an appropriate thing to say here?

No. God's flaming chariot is capable of travelling at speeds exceeding mach 4 within earth's atmosphere.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:37 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


“After this,” he promises, “I’m going to retire because I’ve been successfully doing things for the last 25 years and I’m still alive.”


The Murtaugh and Riggs school of logic.
posted by modernnomad at 4:50 PM on October 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'll go on record as saying this guy is going to have no trouble falling 23 miles and surviving. It's when he reaches the ground that he might be in trouble
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:15 PM on October 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, Tom Cruise and David Miscavige are busily drawing up plans for their 24 mile jump.
posted by wensink at 5:48 PM on October 1, 2012


Mojojojo: This pic makes me nearly wet myself.

With shivery delight. I would add.
posted by Skygazer at 5:58 PM on October 1, 2012


The effects of extreme g-forces are insane. Witness John Stapp, who intentionally withstood forces 43 times greater than gravity to prove that humans could indeed survive an impact with a force of 43g.

It made his eyeballs bleed.

(Also, I hope some good data comes out of this jump. Stapp was part of an Air Force program to improve crash safety of airplanes, so it's not like he was a thrill seeker. While it'll be interesting to see if a human can break the sound barrier for its own sake, I hope someone can study exactly what happens to the body in such a situation.)
posted by Turkey Glue at 6:14 PM on October 1, 2012


All the things that can happen are varying degrees of bad

This is going to be my daily mantra when I turn 75. It is possibly the greatest quote ever made.
posted by aramaic at 6:37 PM on October 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


hey, it's time for some pedantry:
If all goes well, he will reach the speed of sound in about half a minute at an altitude of around 100,000 feet. Then he will start to slow as the atmosphere gets denser, and after five minutes of free fall, he will pull his main parachute.
so.... are we talking about the speed of sound at 100,000 feet or the speed of sound at sea-level? I mean, it's only about 100 mph slower (767 mph vs 680 mph) but I suspect the shock waves are a lot less of a problem at the air density at 100,000 feet...
posted by ennui.bz at 6:43 PM on October 1, 2012


Perhaps he will travel so fast as to go back in time, all the way to 1947..

Did you ever get the feeling you're only going with girls 'cause you're supposed to?
posted by ftm at 7:02 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"You're insane, Rebus!"
posted by Kinbote at 7:10 PM on October 1, 2012


I hear you, ennui.bz those are two different speeds. But.. 100 000 feet! and the speed of sound! So, I see your pedantry and raise you two AWESOME-s.
posted by Bartonius at 7:11 PM on October 1, 2012


I need to figure out how to make more money, because I would totally do this.

And I'm terribly acrophobic - I can't even climb a ladder.

But this! This would be sawheeet.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt


Yes, and your fuzzybutt would help to cushion the fall.
posted by Skygazer at 7:16 PM on October 1, 2012


I'm, like, soooo excited for this. I mean... does it get more epic?
posted by ph00dz at 7:27 PM on October 1, 2012


I thought the first supersonic X-1 flights were troubled by boiling fuel because the lines were routed too close to the skin of the aircraft?

That's because the X-1 was doing Mach 1 at 70,000 feet, and Baumgartner will be doing so about at 100,000 feet. The X-1A flew considerably higher -- about 90K feet, but also considerably faster.

The air is so thin that terminal velocity is supersonic -- but since there's so little air, there's very little friction. As long as you slow with the increasing pressure -- basically, you stay at terminal velocity and not power through the air faster, you'll never encounter dramatic heating.

High performance aircraft worry about this, because they move much faster than terminal velocity, and often in much thicker air. Rockets *really* have to worry about this, both up and down.

Going up, you have massive amounts of thrust accelerating you up. Indeed, almost all initial rocket boost profiles are as close to straight up as they can make it, because you want to get away from the thickets part of the atmosphere. Pressure and heating builds on the craft, reaching the peak at Max-Q, Maximum Dynamic Pressure. After Max-Q, the load fall -- yes, the rocket continues to accelerate, but the thinning atmosphere presents much less drag. So, the usual launch profile is mostly up through Max-Q, then turn horizontal to pick up the velocity you need to stay in orbit*.

Coming back, you have the problem of orbital (or in the case of the Apollo moon missions, much more than orbital) velocity. When you're doing Mach 25, you need a heat shield at 400,000 feet.

But this is really no different than Joe Kittinger's jumps -- another couple of miles higher, which seems a lot, but when you talking the difference between 23 miles and 25 miles, well, it's really not a big difference.



* The hard part about space travel isn't getting to orbital heights. Sounding rockets that would easily fit in a suburban back yard can easily hit 500km altitude, or even higher. But they can't stay there. The hard part is getting to orbital velocity. For low earth orbit, that's about 7-8km per second, or 16,000-18,000 miles per hour. So, really, for a stable LEO, you need to get to about 200km off the ground *and* moving at about 7.5km/sec.

That last part is by far the hardest part -- of both launch and recovery. If you put 7.5km/sec into an object that you want to land safely on the ground, you need to get rid of that velocity.
posted by eriko at 7:36 PM on October 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Also, I hope some good data comes out of this jump. Stapp was part of an Air Force program to improve crash safety of airplanes, so it's not like he was a thrill seeker. While it'll be interesting to see if a human can break the sound barrier for its own sake, I hope someone can study exactly what happens to the body in such a situation.

I read about this in Mary Roach's "Packing for Mars" (which is great) - the jump's funded by Red Bull but NASA's providing a lot of guidance and collecting the data. The justification for the jump is that there are no high-altitude bailout plans for astronauts because the data from Kittinger and Stapp indicated there's an altitude limit to survivability of the G-forces, but the advances made in skydiving (and in pressure suits) since 1960 raised the possibility anew.

I wonder if Michel Fournier's still planning to jump this year? I don't think he's got much if any sponsorship.
posted by gingerest at 8:21 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clark was married to space shuttle astronaut Laurel Clark, who was killed aboard Columbia while it was returning to Earth in 2003, and he has dedicated himself to improving astronauts’ chances of survival in a high-altitude disaster.

It would be amazing if astronauts could bail out of orbit by jumping, but how would you get rid of orbital velocity?
posted by univac at 10:26 PM on October 1, 2012


A previous post before his jump got postponed.

It got postponed because of a lawsuit. Someone claimed that the idea of sponsoring a dare-devil attempt at breaking a record was all their idea (or something like that).
posted by eye of newt at 10:30 PM on October 1, 2012


Space Diving
posted by homunculus at 12:16 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would be amazing if astronauts could bail out of orbit by jumping, but how would you get rid of orbital velocity?

I was thinking about the amazingness of this idea, and the answer became completely clear. Surfboards.
posted by breath at 2:03 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like the capsule. They should use that for a new Red Bull bottle.
posted by MtDewd at 5:04 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to see things like this because it makes everything dangerous I do seem so much more sensible.
posted by dgran at 7:22 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's too bad that if this goes off it'll knock Kittinger off his perch. I think there is an additional fortitude required when jumping from a gondola made at least partially of canvas with a glove that has been leaking causing your hand to double in size all based on slide rule math and guesswork. No computer models, no media hype, no corporate sponsorship, no morning chat shows: just a guy with some brass and a government paycheck.

I'd have hated to have been the still-living Kittinger that his record was being challenged: "by who, the Russians? No? The English? Chinese? Well, who then? A SOFT DRINK COMPANY?!"
posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:15 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Aeronauts
posted by homunculus at 9:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


World's highest, fastest skydive requires the world's biggest balloon
posted by homunculus at 2:07 PM on October 4, 2012


Aeronauts

Holy fucking, eye candy.

Thanks, Homunculus, you brilliant bastard.

posted by Skygazer at 1:53 PM on October 7, 2012


Aw shucks. I decided that and some others deserved their own post, btw.
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on October 7, 2012


Skydiver Baumgartner's 120,000ft spacesuit leap delayed by bad wind
posted by homunculus at 5:27 PM on October 8, 2012


Evidently he's off today live tweets here.
posted by HuronBob at 8:57 AM on October 9, 2012


One thing's been bothering me about this: what happens to the balloon and capsule after he jumps? Can it be brought down remotely, or is it just sky trash for a while, until it becomes land (or sea) trash?
posted by COBRA! at 9:07 AM on October 9, 2012


MetaFilter: All the things that can happen are varying degrees of bad.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:15 AM on October 9, 2012


Felix Baumgartner's Incredible, High-Tech Space Suit
posted by homunculus at 9:35 AM on October 9, 2012


And we're off to the races, it would appear. Godspeed, Felix Baumgartner.
posted by knile at 10:38 AM on October 9, 2012


Seeing as the Mission Timeline link on the Red Bull page is a big steaming pile of useless, does anyone know how long it will take him to get up to the jump altitude?
posted by bondcliff at 10:41 AM on October 9, 2012


Feh. Abort.
posted by bondcliff at 10:42 AM on October 9, 2012


"Abort the attempt for this morning", they just said. This is the official Red Bull Stratos site, with live feed when possible. Mission Control calls a cancellation at 42 past the hour.
posted by knile at 10:43 AM on October 9, 2012


This Is The Man Who Made The First Supersonic Parachute Jump, Just Not On Purpose
posted by homunculus at 3:00 PM on October 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks like they're trying to go again. Live feed.
posted by carter at 6:38 AM on October 14, 2012


The balloon is filling up! Yay!
posted by daniel_charms at 7:49 AM on October 14, 2012


That's a big balloon.
posted by alby at 8:17 AM on October 14, 2012


Off!
posted by carter at 8:31 AM on October 14, 2012


They've launched!
posted by bardophile at 8:31 AM on October 14, 2012


And we're up!
posted by daniel_charms at 8:31 AM on October 14, 2012


His mother is weeping, but I'm not sure it's for joy.
posted by ColdChef at 8:31 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


ColdChef, that's exactly what I thought. As a Southerner, my first reaction to this, once I saw a picture of him as an actual guy on the ground, was: Where's his mama?

(I have never wished to jump out of planes, or fly them, but even in my thirties I am NOT ALLOWED)
posted by Countess Elena at 8:34 AM on October 14, 2012


Annnnnd here comes the vertigo for me. Eeek.
posted by lydhre at 8:35 AM on October 14, 2012


Wow, 1.4 million people watching the video on YouTube.
posted by octothorpe at 8:35 AM on October 14, 2012


About 1/10 of the way up now. This is going to take a while...
posted by daniel_charms at 8:37 AM on October 14, 2012


I AM SO EXCITED
posted by desjardins at 8:37 AM on October 14, 2012


This is going to take a while...

2 hours + to get all the way up, apparently.
posted by carter at 8:42 AM on October 14, 2012


Is the horizon distorted because of the camera lens or is that the actual curvature of the earth?
posted by ColdChef at 8:45 AM on October 14, 2012


it's got to be a wide angle lens, he's not high enough to see that dramatic of a curve. compare with photos taken from ISS, it's not that curved.
posted by desjardins at 8:47 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Commentary from the five year old:
"I'm a little nervous he might hurt himself."
"Is it possible he could hurt himself?"
(Me: Yes, it's possible.)

"If he forgets to open his parachute, it's VERY possible.
....
"Two hours?! That means I can go and play!"

"Say Happy Jumping to Felix from me"
posted by bardophile at 8:47 AM on October 14, 2012


for example, also
posted by desjardins at 8:48 AM on October 14, 2012


Yea, he's not even as high as a typical airline flight altitude yet. You wouldn't see much of a curvature.
posted by octothorpe at 8:49 AM on October 14, 2012


bardophile, he can't "forget," it's automated in case he passes out.
posted by desjardins at 8:49 AM on October 14, 2012


Thanks desjardins, that will reassure the kid. I should have guessed as much and thought to explain that to him.
posted by bardophile at 8:50 AM on October 14, 2012


Thank you, desjardins.
posted by ColdChef at 8:51 AM on October 14, 2012


bardophile, the primary danger is a flat spin. He's got to be very careful how he actually jumps, or he will not be able to control anything at all.
posted by desjardins at 8:53 AM on October 14, 2012


People are speculating on what he's doing on the slow rise upwards.

Anyway, score maximum style points by dancing Gangnam Style out of the capsule, Felix...
posted by Wordshore at 8:53 AM on October 14, 2012


oh man I have so much to do today but I can't look away
posted by desjardins at 8:55 AM on October 14, 2012


bardophile, he can't "forget," it's automated in case he passes out.

His parachute is fitted with a CYPRES device which uses explosive bolts to open his reserve parachute if his rate of descent exceeds a given threshold below a set threshold altitude.
posted by alby at 8:55 AM on October 14, 2012


desjardins, yes, I had read that much. I'm not thinking I should explain that to the five-year-old, though.
posted by bardophile at 8:55 AM on October 14, 2012


well, no, I don't recommend that.
posted by desjardins at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2012


It's important to teach young children about death. That way, later, when you threaten them with it, they have a real appreciation of it.
posted by ColdChef at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2012 [17 favorites]


Holey moley.
posted by homunculus at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2012


I was wondering how he's passing the time... He's looking at some sort of monitor. He's so cool. If I were up there, I'd have my nose pressed against the capsule window, whimpering.
posted by mochapickle at 9:01 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


His mom is wearing a plastic Roswell Alien ring. So cool.
posted by ColdChef at 9:05 AM on October 14, 2012


This sure beats the hell out of a "Say Yes to the Dress" marathon.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:05 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


-67 degrees outside the capsule now.

Or as they call it in Minnesota, "October".
posted by Wordshore at 9:06 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think I'll watch this with my son. He's 3.5 years old, and won't totally get it, but he was only 1.5 when he saw STS-132 go up, and even if he doesn't totally understand it, maybe it'll seed something.

You know, other than a desire to drink Red Bull.
posted by ChrisR at 9:06 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The material the balloon is made of is ten times thinner than a sandwich bag.
posted by ColdChef at 9:08 AM on October 14, 2012


It's like a giant dry cleaner bag.
posted by mochapickle at 9:09 AM on October 14, 2012


Holy shit, that's Joe Kittinger in the video stream doing capsule communications with Baumgartner.
posted by exogenous at 9:19 AM on October 14, 2012


Yeah he's the only one allowed to talk to him so there's no crosstalk and confusion.
posted by desjardins at 9:21 AM on October 14, 2012


Having Kittinger as CAPCOM is a nice touch.
posted by alby at 9:23 AM on October 14, 2012


Mrs Fullerine just said "isn't it cool that Henry Kissinger is talking him through it".
posted by fullerine at 9:27 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Two hours is a long time to be sitting down. I hope he's taken a kettle, teapot, cup and some nice tea with him, to pass the time.
posted by Wordshore at 9:27 AM on October 14, 2012


what's not heating!? terror
posted by changeling at 9:30 AM on October 14, 2012


I can't understand what Felix is saying, it sounds like some light is on that isn't supposed to be on?
posted by desjardins at 9:30 AM on October 14, 2012


Sounds like there's some trouble with the temperature control in the capsule.
posted by bardophile at 9:31 AM on October 14, 2012


And now the sound is gone on the feed for me.
posted by bardophile at 9:31 AM on October 14, 2012


Thought he said his face heater is not working. He mentioned condensation when he breathed
posted by fullerine at 9:31 AM on October 14, 2012


The live feed's silence is eerie.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:31 AM on October 14, 2012


Oh sound is back. I didn't breeeeeeathe.
posted by mochapickle at 9:32 AM on October 14, 2012


anyone who watched Challenger live has to have some goosebumps.
posted by desjardins at 9:32 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds like there's some trouble with the temperature control in the capsule.

The problem is with Baumgartner's visor's heating system.
posted by alby at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2012


Guy has a huge set of stones. Godspeed Felix.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2012


Eep. That sounds eepy.
posted by daniel_charms at 9:34 AM on October 14, 2012


His mother seems quite cheerful, though.
posted by daniel_charms at 9:34 AM on October 14, 2012


If they can't fix the visor heat, I can imagine his exhaled breath condensing and freezing on the inside once he gets out into the cold, making it hard or impossible to see outside.
posted by exogenous at 9:35 AM on October 14, 2012


What is the plan if there is an issue? Isn't the alternative to bail out and jump, but that is what he wants. Does the capsule have a parachute on it? Can he stay in and ride it down somehow?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2012


I am slightly disappointed that the "Armstong Line" is not named for Neil Armstrong.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2012


Safety aside, it would suck to jump from that high and not even be able to see anything.
posted by desjardins at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2012


I think just before the feed was cut he said there was a problem with the navigation system, it's only showing the nearest Apple Store, and they should have stuck with Google Maps?
posted by Wordshore at 9:37 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's what the earth looks like from space on Apple maps.
posted by desjardins at 9:38 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The data display in the live stream is impressive. I wished it had a map overlay of his present position - he's now about halfway from Roswell towards the Texas border with not much horizontal speed any more.
posted by exogenous at 9:41 AM on October 14, 2012


Does the capsule have a parachute on it? Can he stay in and ride it down somehow?

It does have its own parachute, I assume that he can ride it down if required.
posted by atrazine at 9:43 AM on October 14, 2012


since they show the lat/long, I'm surprised someone hasn't whipped up a live map.
posted by desjardins at 9:43 AM on October 14, 2012


I'm surprised someone hasn't whipped up a live map.

Behold!
posted by daniel_charms at 9:45 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


huh, someone has. Live map + live video feed.
posted by desjardins at 9:48 AM on October 14, 2012


You can see Clovis on that map. I like that.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:49 AM on October 14, 2012


What happens to the capsule and balloon after the jump?
posted by lampshade at 9:50 AM on October 14, 2012


They come down to earth?
posted by desjardins at 9:51 AM on October 14, 2012


Temp is warming up outside. Odd.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2012


What happens to the capsule and balloon after the jump?

The capsule returns to Earth under a parachute and is recovered.
posted by alby at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2012


The capsule has a parachute attached to it. so will be retrieved, lots of video data on it. Not sure about the balloon.
posted by bardophile at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2012


The capsule should come down intact (there's all sorts of data they will want to recover from there); the balloon will not.
posted by daniel_charms at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2012


What happens to the capsule and balloon after the jump?

it unfolds into a fully armed and operational battle station
posted by elizardbits at 9:53 AM on October 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wait, I missed it, what did he say would happen if he crossed the Texas state line? Fines for lack of state permits?
posted by Countess Elena at 9:55 AM on October 14, 2012


Meanwhile, in other nerd-live-feed news, here's Endeavour slooooowly being towed through Los Angeles.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:55 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is Twitter breaking for anyone else?
posted by desjardins at 9:57 AM on October 14, 2012


Fines for lack of state permits?

Arrested for the crime of science, presumably.
posted by elizardbits at 9:57 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Temp is warming up outside. Odd.

That's heat from the UV absorbed by the ozone layer, the temperature will probably keep rising all the way to the top of the flight.
posted by atrazine at 9:58 AM on October 14, 2012


Dude ran out of things to say so he's just clearing his throat.
posted by desjardins at 10:00 AM on October 14, 2012


I suspect the major concerns if they ended up crossing the state line is the denser population and longer recovery time
posted by edgeways at 10:00 AM on October 14, 2012


I think I heard on the feed that there are increased wind speeds in Texas.
posted by desjardins at 10:02 AM on October 14, 2012


I like how they have his name on his helmet as if they're going to mix it up with some other dude's helmet.
posted by desjardins at 10:03 AM on October 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Out of curiosity (it's for a friend). Are there any medical people here who can say what (if anything) would happen if Felix got an erection at 120,000 feet, when about to jump? #UnwantedWood
posted by Wordshore at 10:06 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Name on helmet so all the pictures for posterity have his name on it. Also, don't want folks to think his name is Red Bull do we?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:07 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, there's so many buttons on the left there. It's like the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:08 AM on October 14, 2012


I suspect the major concerns if they ended up crossing the state line is the denser population

I'm watching this on Discovery Channel and that's the explanation I heard. (There may be others, of course.)
posted by Room 641-A at 10:09 AM on October 14, 2012


Out of curiosity (it's for a friend). Are there any medical people here who can say what (if anything) would happen if Felix got an erection at 120,000 feet, when about to jump? #UnwantedWood
Isn't he in a pressure suit? So unless he's planning on jumping with his cock out (which would be rather awesome), it should be fine.
posted by Jehan at 10:10 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is the jump point? How many feet up?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:10 AM on October 14, 2012


How long will they keep going up? Do they have a set altitude, or will he just keep going until he runs out of ballast?
posted by daniel_charms at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2012


120,000.
posted by desjardins at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2012


I like how they have his name on his helmet as if they're going to mix it up with some other dude's helmet.

You'd be surprised how difficult it can be to accurately identify human smithereens.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:12 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


They keep going up till they reach the "float point," which is estimated to be somewhere between 120,000 and 130,000 feet.
posted by bardophile at 10:12 AM on October 14, 2012


Ack. When he does step out, there's just those three little strips of grippy tape on the front step keeping him from slipping.
posted by mochapickle at 10:15 AM on October 14, 2012


I did not realize/know he jumped from around this far as a practice in July.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:16 AM on October 14, 2012


Past Joe Kittinger's record now.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:19 AM on October 14, 2012


My heart is climbing into my throat.
posted by desjardins at 10:20 AM on October 14, 2012


That story about the guy who slipped off the helicopter sling is just horrible.
posted by bardophile at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2012


That step is only the size of a skateboard?
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2012


wait what if the balloon doesn't stop?
posted by desjardins at 10:22 AM on October 14, 2012


Ack. When he does step out, there's just those three little strips of grippy tape on the front step keeping him from slipping.

Should've gone with some of those bathtub flower stickers instead.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:23 AM on October 14, 2012


At some point, it does have to stop. It can't just escape gravity via floating.
posted by bardophile at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2012


Godspeed, Mr. Baumgartner.
posted by ericb at 10:25 AM on October 14, 2012


Ah, that's what he'll be doing once outside the capsule. The Internet says that brave American astronauts traditionally sing the following when plummeting towards Earth:

"Oh, those Golden Grahams.
Oh, those Golden Grahams.
Crispy, crunchy, graham cereal,
brand new breakfast treat..."
posted by Wordshore at 10:26 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Soundspeed!
posted by desjardins at 10:26 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


desjardins: What's pushing the balloon up is basic buoyancy. It will stop when the weight of the air displaced by the balloon will become equal to its own weight.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:28 AM on October 14, 2012


Team considering the options on dealing with the malfunction in the visor's heating system. Clearly, taking off the visor is not an option.
posted by bardophile at 10:28 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The announcer's wikipedia article is interesting if kind of alarming (emphasis mine):
Hager found himself carving out a niche in the areas of transportation and weather. He reported on many major airline accidents, including TWA Flight 800 and Pan Am Flight 103. He also covered many of the major hurricanes that hit the United States during his 35 year tenure.[1] During his years at the DC bureau, Hager became one of the most visible reporters on television.[2]
Although he retired from daily reporting on November 5, 2004,[2] Hager continued to file occasional reports for NBC News. He returned to the air to help cover the 2006 coal mine disaster in West Virginia.[3] Because of his expertise in aviation accidents, Hager came back again to NBC Nightly News to report on the August 27, 2006 crash of Comair Flight 5191 and the October 12, 2006 plane crash that killed Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle
posted by desjardins at 10:29 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The outside temp is now a relatively warm -23.
posted by Jehan at 10:31 AM on October 14, 2012


Paul Ryan claiming in interview that when younger he "did a 140,000 foot freefall jump", though he can't remember exactly when and no-one apparently kept any press clippings.

may not be true
posted by Wordshore at 10:31 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The highest anyone has ever gone... hauled aloft by a balloon."
posted by ocherdraco at 10:33 AM on October 14, 2012


Past the highest flight in a balloon record.
posted by bardophile at 10:33 AM on October 14, 2012


well, he's got the balloon altitude record now.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:33 AM on October 14, 2012


Pfft, -8 F? It gets colder in Wisconsin in the winter.
posted by desjardins at 10:33 AM on October 14, 2012


may or may not have been a single jump; may or may not have been vertical
posted by daniel_charms at 10:33 AM on October 14, 2012


Well, not just long lenses. It helps that the balloon is bigger than the Statue of Liberty...
posted by bardophile at 10:34 AM on October 14, 2012


Ahh, so close! Nerve-wracking! Good luck, Felix!
posted by Fig at 10:38 AM on October 14, 2012


30 million cubic feet of helium!
posted by ericb at 10:38 AM on October 14, 2012


Hager found himself carving out a niche in the areas of transportation and weather

A little disappointing that a few minutes ago he suggested the temperature was warming because they were closer to the sun. Good thing the capsule isn't made of wax!
posted by exogenous at 10:39 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there any way Felix can inhale a tiny bit of the balloon helium, so he could do amusing high-pitched smurf voices as he falls to Earth?
posted by Wordshore at 10:40 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


My palms are literally sweating.
posted by desjardins at 10:41 AM on October 14, 2012


Getting colder now, but I might still consider not zipping up my jacket in this weather.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:41 AM on October 14, 2012


Goosebump territory.
posted by ericb at 10:42 AM on October 14, 2012


getting pretty close here.
posted by edgeways at 10:42 AM on October 14, 2012


Maximum altitude! Eeep!
posted by Fig at 10:43 AM on October 14, 2012


THE JUMP IS A GO.
posted by alby at 10:43 AM on October 14, 2012


eeeek
posted by madamjujujive at 10:43 AM on October 14, 2012


Wow, that's a pretty shot of the balloon all inflated against the blue sky.
posted by octothorpe at 10:44 AM on October 14, 2012


Still going up slightly...
posted by daniel_charms at 10:44 AM on October 14, 2012


Will Jump. Good luck - and trust in the enormous planning.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2012


That silver haired fellow in mission control, is that Kittinger?
posted by triceryclops at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2012


Good luck, Felix!
posted by robstercraw at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2012


It was more impressive when William Shatner did it in the '90s.
posted by tapeguy at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2012


yes, triceryclops
posted by desjardins at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2012


Let's hear the Mission Control chatter, please.
posted by ericb at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2012


I'm nervous to let my kid watch the jump. But he definitely wants to. Butterflies in my stomach.
posted by bardophile at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2012


In the 2015 Hollywood film of the jump, this is the point Celine Dion starts singing.
posted by Wordshore at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2012


If he has a quick wank now, the low pressure in the cabin will make his sperm swell to the size of kittens. Sperm kittens!
posted by Jehan at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Balloon looks like an enormous JiffyPop.
posted by chococat at 10:47 AM on October 14, 2012


yikes
posted by carter at 10:48 AM on October 14, 2012


I'm nervous to let my kid watch the jump.

I would think! I am so stressed by watching.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2012


Seems like he's got the heat back in the visor. Phew.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2012


Sounds like the faceplate heating is working.
posted by alby at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2012


Anyone else freak out when he wasn't responding right away?
posted by Fig at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why isn't he responding?
posted by ocherdraco at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2012


The checklist is simultaneously mundane and exhilarating.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a nailbiter.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:50 AM on October 14, 2012


Man, he sounds so bored.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:50 AM on October 14, 2012


It may not have been what MetaTalk is for, but thank you carter.
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:50 AM on October 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Anyone else freak out when he wasn't responding right away?

Yes. Yes I did.
posted by alby at 10:50 AM on October 14, 2012


Agreed! The metatalk post is why I'm watching too
posted by Fig at 10:51 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone else got Major Tom playing in their head?
posted by octothorpe at 10:51 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Me too ...

Crazy nailbiting stuff.
posted by carter at 10:51 AM on October 14, 2012


holy shi-i-i-i-t
posted by madamjujujive at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2012


Alright the live feed just pooped the bed. Anybody else?
posted by triceryclops at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2012


Same here. I totally missed the original FPP.
posted by bardophile at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2012


guys i am so high right now
posted by SomaSoda at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm freaking out right now. I think he can do it, though.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2012


At this rate, he's going to leap out at over 39,000m.
posted by Jehan at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2012


Is the visor heater thing isn't working, wouldn't it just be easiest to quickly microwave a Hot Pocket and shove it in there? Bonus: something to nibble on the way down.
posted by Wordshore at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not as high as Felix.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2012


My cat just let me know that it's his feeding time, just as Felix is preparing to jump. Worst. Timing. Ever. Felix.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2012


So, what do we think Baumgartner's "One small step ..." words are going to be?
posted by alby at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2012


Did he just say "lock S-foils in attack position"?
posted by albrecht at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another watcher because of the carter's metatalk thread here! Pretty into the earth's blue glow.
posted by troika at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2012


'Godspeed' is a common 'good luck' phrase used by NASA and Mission Control (e.g. "Godspeed, John Glenn" || Godspeed, Atlantis").
posted by ericb at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2012


Will his mic be on on the way down?
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2012


watch it on youtube, I can't get it at the main site
posted by madamjujujive at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2012


All these guys at mission control and Felix all sound so calm and relaxed. I'd be screaming and/or hyperventilating. Typing is difficult now, just watching!
posted by Fig at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2012


GERONIMO
posted by Countess Elena at 10:55 AM on October 14, 2012


shiiiiit man
posted by edgeways at 10:55 AM on October 14, 2012


Geronimo!
posted by Jehan at 10:55 AM on October 14, 2012


Item 22: JUMP!
posted by chococat at 10:55 AM on October 14, 2012


"We're getting serious now"
posted by octothorpe at 10:56 AM on October 14, 2012


yeah, vicariously high, that is.

Getting serious now Felix.
posted by SomaSoda at 10:56 AM on October 14, 2012


oh no! video went down!!
posted by robstercraw at 10:56 AM on October 14, 2012


I just jumped off my couch in solidarity and hit my knee on the edge of the table and spilt my tea and it was all very dramatic.
posted by elizardbits at 10:56 AM on October 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


OK, quick shot of his family at mission control, they do not look calm and relaxed.
posted by Fig at 10:56 AM on October 14, 2012


"we're getting serious now"

Heh....as if felix wasn't already!
posted by lampshade at 10:57 AM on October 14, 2012


I think the only reason I'm not totally freaking out is that I can't really comprehend what is about to happen. I'm just regular freaking out.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:57 AM on October 14, 2012


Depressurizing!
posted by bardophile at 10:57 AM on October 14, 2012


External pressure 0.003 bar.
posted by carter at 10:58 AM on October 14, 2012


So as a now veteran jumper I feel I must warn Felix not to step in his spilt tea or his socks will get wet.
posted by elizardbits at 10:59 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh jeez, I'm kinda nauseated. How is he not stroking out completely?
posted by Mamapotomus at 10:59 AM on October 14, 2012


Here we go.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:59 AM on October 14, 2012


He is more than 24 miles up in the air.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:59 AM on October 14, 2012


I may barf
posted by madamjujujive at 11:00 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The hissing of the depressurization is killing me. Aaaaaargh.
posted by lydhre at 11:00 AM on October 14, 2012


Over 39 km!
posted by Jehan at 11:00 AM on October 14, 2012


All of a sudden the map that desjardins linked to upthread has moved the jump location to the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa. It keeps flip flopping between there and New Mexico.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2012


Felix sounds nervous about the door.
posted by bardophile at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2012


Good wishes and all the luck in the world to Felix, challenging what it is to be a human being.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's eager to get that door open
posted by exogenous at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2012


I feel terrible for his family
posted by futz at 11:02 AM on October 14, 2012


0.12 psi inside and outside the capsule.
posted by ericb at 11:02 AM on October 14, 2012


Kittinger is doing a great job here.
posted by carter at 11:02 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Ground control to Major Baum - drink a can of Red Bull and put your helmet on"
posted by tapeguy at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


"bunny hop" !

good luck Felix!
posted by marimeko at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Door open!
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Door open!!
posted by Fig at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Over 7 million watching live on YouTube.
posted by ericb at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Even now, conspiracy theorists are blogging that all this is being relayed from an abandoned warehouse in Nebraska.
posted by Wordshore at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I heard "bunny hop" off "a little skateboard-like platform."
sounds perfectly reasonable
posted by changeling at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Anyone know how long it will take to get back to the ground?
posted by edgeways at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Video...any video??
posted by Skygazer at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2012


Huh, my feed doesn't show it yet.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012


common error for newbie map guys: getting the position in one coordinate system, not converting, and displaying it in another.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here WE GO!!!!
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012


release seat belt!
posted by chococat at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012


Less than 15 minutes they say.
posted by Jehan at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012


"There it is! There is a world out there!"
posted by daniel_charms at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012


Anyone know how long it will take to get back to the ground?

About ten minutes.
posted by tapeguy at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012


"Item 31. Try not to look down and completely crap yourself in fear."
posted by Wordshore at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2012


Ohhhhhh.......
posted by ericb at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2012


NO FUCK YOU I AM NOT UPGRADING MY FLASH PLAYER OH MY GOD COME BACK
posted by elizardbits at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Don't look down.
posted by octothorpe at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2012


His view does look beautiful, with the dark sky and bright horizon.
posted by Fig at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2012


Dude is sitting. In. Space.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


was a psych eval done on this guy?
posted by futz at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now he just needs to get a nice big flatscreen mounted out there, queue up something on Netflix Instant...
posted by cortex at 11:06 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish I had Kittinger in my ear to walk me through the difficult tasks in my life step by step.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:06 AM on October 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


omg omg omg
posted by Fig at 11:06 AM on October 14, 2012


the camera angle from just above his head is, um. i just.

halp.
posted by elizardbits at 11:06 AM on October 14, 2012


HOLY SHIT.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:07 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


wow he got tiny real fast
posted by elizardbits at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I DON'T LIKE THIS PART
posted by elizardbits at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2012


WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOA
posted by daniel_charms at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2012


ocherdraco: "HOLY SHIT."

My wife and I just yelled that out in unison.
posted by octothorpe at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2012


FUCK!
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2012


Away he goes!
posted by Jehan at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2012


Stable descent! Woo!
posted by troika at 11:08 AM on October 14, 2012


He's rolling.
posted by ericb at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2012


outside online live feed
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't know we'd be listening to his breathing omg omg
posted by changeling at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2012


I cannot believe we are watching a man fall through space !
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2012


Now stable.
posted by ericb at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2012


omg omg omg
posted by carter at 11:10 AM on October 14, 2012


controlled descent!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:10 AM on October 14, 2012


Speed of sound!
posted by Jehan at 11:10 AM on October 14, 2012


Got tears in my eyes.
posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


My 3yo is standing in front of the tv screaming "He's falling!"
posted by ColdChef at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's hit ludicrous speed!
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


What did he say?
posted by ericb at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2012


GO GO GO YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD.
posted by alby at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


did he just say "pass out"?
posted by futz at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2012


Goddamn.. humans are a crazy animals I gotta say
posted by edgeways at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2012


Visor is fogging up.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012


"Visor is fogging up".
posted by ericb at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012


I like that over 7 million people are excitedly watching a blurry white dot with arms and legs.
posted by elizardbits at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Did he just say his visor was fogging up?
posted by alby at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012


chute is active!

And so he didn't get the record freefall.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012


Come on, man. Make it home!
posted by ericb at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012


AHH PARACHUTE

my god i thought he exploded
posted by elizardbits at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012


Chute's out! No new freefall record
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:12 AM on October 14, 2012


"Couldn't have done it any better myself!" Aww, Kittinger.
posted by troika at 11:13 AM on October 14, 2012


i am sad that he didn't arrange to land on a dragon and fly off triumphantly
posted by elizardbits at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if he pulled the chute early so the old record could stand. he has the record for this highest jump, maybe it was a nod to history
posted by lampshade at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


He can't see. They're having to direct him down.
posted by alby at 11:15 AM on October 14, 2012


He should land perfectly on one foot on top of a Red Bull can.
posted by chococat at 11:15 AM on October 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah!! Perfect!!
posted by Fig at 11:16 AM on October 14, 2012


The guys on radio are having a hard time describing the wind.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:16 AM on October 14, 2012


shit ... a standing landing
posted by edgeways at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012


HOLY SHIT! Welcome home!
posted by ericb at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012


Wow. incredible.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012


I hate that fucking announcer so fucking much for fucking talking over Felix and Kittinger. I HATE HIM.
posted by desjardins at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012


Well, that was fun!
posted by ocherdraco at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012


His balls are as big as the earth he just landed on.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my goodness.
posted by Mamapotomus at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012


wow good landing
posted by chococat at 11:17 AM on October 14, 2012


I really kind of hate that the first person who ran up to him wasn't there to congratulate him or hug him or hand him a taco, but to shove a camera in his face and click away.
posted by elizardbits at 11:18 AM on October 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Heh. The first guy at the scene is a photographer.

Awesome landing.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:18 AM on October 14, 2012


i like the internet
posted by j_curiouser at 11:18 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


omg - what a crazy bastard, I am so relieved - this is astounding
posted by madamjujujive at 11:18 AM on October 14, 2012


I mean obvsly I get that this is an expensive publicity stunt but COME THE FUCK ON HUG THE SPACEMAN.
posted by elizardbits at 11:19 AM on October 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


So the first thing that happened to Felix, after landing from a jump of nearly 130,000 feet, is that someone instagrammed him.
posted by Wordshore at 11:19 AM on October 14, 2012


poor little shuttle still hanging up in the air is totally gonna miss the afterparty
posted by SomaSoda at 11:19 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Welcome back Felix!
posted by carter at 11:20 AM on October 14, 2012


Also the livestream viewing numbers dropped by a million once he landed, which makes me wonder how many people were just watching to see if he died.

wow i hate people more than usual today i guess
posted by elizardbits at 11:20 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean obvsly I get that this is an expensive publicity stunt but COME THE FUCK ON HUG THE SPACEMAN.

Right, he's gonna hug the guy wearing the six thousand dollar pressure suit. COME ON.
posted by cortex at 11:20 AM on October 14, 2012 [19 favorites]


very cool live science feed thread....2 in a month...first Curiosity and now this.
posted by lampshade at 11:21 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ms Jest thought the first person to reach him should have been a doctor. I think it should have been someone with a cold beer. (After hugs, obviously).
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:21 AM on October 14, 2012


Awesome. Kid fell asleep as soon as the parachute opened. Way past his bedtime. :)

Yay Felix!
posted by bardophile at 11:21 AM on October 14, 2012


I wonder if the outside of his suit was (dangerously) cold to the touch at first?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:23 AM on October 14, 2012


Also the livestream viewing numbers dropped by a million once he landed, which makes me wonder how many people were just watching to see if he died.

Maybe they are just trying to get away from this horrible song.
posted by naoko at 11:23 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Right, he's gonna hug the guy wearing the six thousand dollar pressure suit. COME ON.

Hug him gently or do one of those French style air kisses at his cheeks at least. Dude just jumped from space. FROM SPACE.
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:23 AM on October 14, 2012


SPACEMAN HIGH FIVES AT LEAST
posted by elizardbits at 11:24 AM on October 14, 2012


ericb: Got tears in my eyes.
Thank God I wasn't the only one. I wasn't prepared for how emotional watching him step off the capsule was going to make me. I actually gasped.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:24 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was amazing. Absolutely beautiful.
posted by homunculus at 11:24 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was absolutely insane. Insane.

Also, YAY SCIENCE!!!!
posted by futz at 11:24 AM on October 14, 2012


Oh thank god, the song is gone. Anyway, yeah, my cold cynical little heart melted from "publicity stunt blergh" to "this is awesome" pretty much as soon as I turned the livestream on.
posted by naoko at 11:25 AM on October 14, 2012


he's gonna hug the guy wearing the six thousand dollar pressure suit

i think it's prolly strong enough to stand up to hugs if it just broke the sound barrier. unless photog dude was wearing a suit made of live porcupines.
posted by elizardbits at 11:25 AM on October 14, 2012


Meanwhile on YouTube, hordes of 27 year old men in their parents basements smugly type "FAKE!" in the comments section...
posted by Wordshore at 11:26 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


It breaks my heart when people don't get Arrested Development references.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81Nl7VYFEaI

COME ON!
posted by mysticreferee at 11:27 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I closed the tab to escape that horrid song, and now it's not responding.
posted by khaibit at 11:27 AM on October 14, 2012


so, uh, back to 'The Battle of Bedford Falls' for me...I think laundry, dishes, and homework help.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:29 AM on October 14, 2012


I love that this happened at the same time as Voyager is leaving the solar system. We live in exciting times.
posted by homunculus at 11:29 AM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did anyone catch what he said right before the jump? My feed was freaking out.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 11:31 AM on October 14, 2012


My wifi cut out 20 seconds after he landed, which, thank god, because if it had done that 20 seconds before, I would have thrown my monitor out the window.
posted by desjardins at 11:32 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Geronimooooooooo
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:33 AM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Red Bull giveth wings. Red Bull taketh away.
posted by Abbril at 11:34 AM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Out of curiosity (it's for a friend). Are there any medical people here who can say what (if anything) would happen if Felix got an erection at 120,000 feet, when about to jump? #UnwantedWood

Excellent question. It's a well-documented fact that the state of a male parachutist's penis can disrupt airflow around his body and generate a small amount of additional torque (the so-called "Laminar Stiffy" Effect). The best high altitude skydivers and BASE jumpers make use of this effect to control their rotational dynamics in free fall and even recover from flat spins. For this reason, since WWII, all Air Force pilots and Army paratroopers have been trained in a technique called RABODEP (RApid BOner DEployment), where they learn in flight school to fine-tune the turgidity of their members with strategic precision by calling to mind various erotic or non-erotic images. To assist with this adjustment, many servicemen adopted the practice of taping two photos on the insides of their visors, one a source of a surefire instant hard-on (Marilyn Monroe being a popular choice) and the other a no-fail boner killer (usually their base commander or a famous athlete, e.g., NFL quarterback Bart Starr). During the Cold War, the particular identities of the people in the chubby-generating photos was, for obvious reasons, a closely guarded military secret in both the US and USSR, the concern being that the enemy could, in the event of airborne conflict, drop leaflets of the sexy images or flood the TV airwaves with them, manipulating their counterparts into untimely and potentially deadly erections. Due to a FOIA request for declassified documents, Chuck Yeager's tent-popping photo was later revealed to be of a young Sophia Loren, while Yuri Gagarin's boner source was rumored to be a member of the Bolshoi Ballet, although this was never confirmed.
posted by albrecht at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


Upon careful consideration, I have decided that if 4Loko sponsorship is what it takes to get us back to the moon, I'm ok with it.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:43 AM on October 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


At pretty much the same time: Voyager 1 leaves the Solar System, there's a robot on Mars laser blasting the surface to analyze it, and a man falls from space and lands safe and well on Earth.

We do frequently, often, fuck up big-time as a species. But sometimes, just occasionally, we fucking rock.
posted by Wordshore at 11:45 AM on October 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


Metafilter: they learn in flight school to fine-tune the turgidity of their members with strategic precision by calling to mind various erotic or non-erotic images.
posted by Skygazer at 11:49 AM on October 14, 2012


OK, I missed it due to having to feed my children and figure out why one of them was screaming. Is there video of the whole thing I can watch now?
posted by KathrynT at 12:00 PM on October 14, 2012


Did anyone capture any of the data that was streaming on the YouTube page? Altitude, horizontal and vertical track speed, internal and external pressure and temperature etc. I'm a teacher and I'd love to get my hands on that data.
posted by alby at 12:14 PM on October 14, 2012


At pretty much the same time: Voyager 1 leaves the Solar System, there's a robot on Mars laser blasting the surface to analyze it, and a man falls from space and lands safe and well on Earth.

And to think this is all happening a mere 9,000 years after the creation of the world.
posted by homunculus at 12:15 PM on October 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


In other news: This Guy Somehow Survived a Free Fall from a 4,000 Foot Cliff
posted by homunculus at 12:52 PM on October 14, 2012


I am still marveling at the technology of his space suit. Amazing.
posted by futz at 12:54 PM on October 14, 2012


Still a little disappointed that all the people meeting him on the ground weren't wearing ape masks.
posted by reynir at 12:55 PM on October 14, 2012 [25 favorites]


In case anyone missed it, it appears to be showing "live" on the Discovery Channel now. Still ascending.

I realize it was Red Bull and not NASA, but for me there was still a very strange disconnect seeing live pictures from space but hearing a totally amateur hour mission control broadcast.
posted by Balonious Assault at 1:06 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner has completed a 24-mile freefall, reaching a speed of 706mph during his four minute, 19 second fall. (video).

More details on the jump at Red Bull Stratos; previously. Baumgartner broke the record set in 1960 by Joe Kittinger (previously 1, 2); Kittinger was in mission control for the jump, which comes on the 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeagar breaking the sound barrier.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:32 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


BBC says sound barrier was broken
posted by fullerine at 3:14 PM on October 14, 2012


Felix Baumgartner's record-setting jump, reenacted with LEGOs.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:08 PM on October 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is the most stressful weekend of the year, when MCAS Miramar puts on their 3-day air show 6 miles south of my house. I have dogs, and they are stupid and afraid of Scary Sky Noise; we ended up cancelling a night at the Chateau Marmont to be home so they wouldn't eat all the walls and break out the windows.

But we are Space Nerds, too, and it was only about 30 minutes before the jump that I loaded the stream up on the big monitor and went and got my husband and said, "hey, you wanna see this nut free-fall from space?" And we sat and watched it and clutched each others' knees when Baumgartner wasn't responding appropriately to Kittinger (and he really, really wasn't - we just spent the weekend re-re-re-re-watching From the Earth to the Moon; at least train to say "roger" occasionally, for everyone's mental health), and we gasped when he did his "better get this over with before I have time to think about it" bunny hop off the platform. We sighed in relief when that terrifying spiral turned into a controlled free-fall (echoing the face of his mother, bless her sainted tormented heart), and we writhed in agony when Red Bull TM Mission Control couldn't accurately tell him the difference between the wind coming off the ridge and the wind blowing toward the ridge (after 15 seconds of my screaming that he doesn't know where the fuck East is, give the man some landmarks). We started breathing again when he hit that amazing running landing on the ground.

I've not yet warmed to privatized space exploration. I'd prefer to think that the fucking amazing pilots who have spent all weekend rattling my windows and scaring the poop literally out of my dogs and setting off our car alarms will be among the few in my lifetime who might again set foot on the moon or Mars rather than Dude McAdrenaline-Junkie bringing you Return to Luna General Mills Sponsored By Trojan or First Steps on Wal-Mars. But I can't deny that seeing someone - anyone - slipping the surly bonds of Earth and returning safely to the ground doesn't give me some warm damn feelings.

I hope someone invents some kind of completely new sex to bestow on Felix tonight after the press conferences and the inevitable dinner with the CEO of Red Bull.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:42 PM on October 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm glad it was a successful drop. I had visions of a tragic impact in the deserts of Roswell - and the military covering it up by releasing a statement that in fact an alien spacecraft had crashed.
posted by panboi at 5:13 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, I thought it was a crazy idea BEFORE I came in here and read that his eyes could explode like something out of a Stephen King novel. If I have nightmares about this tonight I am blaming you, Metafilter!
posted by bquarters at 5:44 PM on October 14, 2012


Google Actually Considered Sending Felix Baumgartner To Space With Google Glass
posted by homunculus at 6:25 PM on October 14, 2012


Footage of the jump shot from a cam on Baumgartener's chestpack is here.
posted by carter at 7:52 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope someone invents some kind of completely new sex to bestow on Felix tonight

I am fairly certain that nothing on the surface of the planet could give him a bigger thrill than that jump.
posted by gingerest at 8:03 PM on October 14, 2012


Felix Baumgartner's Record-Breaking Free Fall - By The Numbers

So, the man fell to earth. Does it matter?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:59 PM on October 14, 2012


I didn't watch the video (yet), but I scrolled through the comments above that people wrote while they watched it live and it was an amazing collaborative description. I feel like I don't even need to watch the images now after all.
posted by lollusc at 2:08 AM on October 15, 2012


As others have spotted, great music to play while watching Felix fall gently to Earth.
posted by Wordshore at 4:53 AM on October 15, 2012


In Case You Missed It
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:43 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


On-suit camera view

Not for the easily-motion sick!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:57 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has anyone seen a longer video from the on-suit camera?
posted by desjardins at 2:23 PM on October 15, 2012


Felix Baumgartner skydive: the key questions answered
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bit you never saw; in-capsule footage of what happened shortly after Felix jumped. (may be related to this)
posted by Wordshore at 4:49 PM on October 15, 2012


Sail!
posted by homunculus at 5:11 PM on October 15, 2012


Really nice synopsis (with good video, and an interview with their science editor) tonight on PBS/Newshour.
posted by Skygazer at 6:39 PM on October 15, 2012


That's pretty much my suicide plan, sans parachute. Look for me in 2050 or so.
posted by LordSludge at 12:50 AM on October 16, 2012


Raw headcam footage from the jump
posted by exogenous at 7:37 AM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, the record for the longest freefall, set by Eugene Andreev of the USSR in 1962 (breaking Kittenger's record set two years earlier), still holds.
posted by eye of newt at 8:51 AM on October 16, 2012


They set free-fall a record on Conan as well!
posted by ob1quixote at 9:44 AM on October 16, 2012


Christ on a crutch… What good is an edit window if you don't see you somehow bungled the word order until it's too late? They "set a free-fall record" obviously. I've even had breakfast and two cups of coffee. I'm going back to bed…
posted by ob1quixote at 9:53 AM on October 16, 2012


unimpressed rover
posted by homunculus at 8:32 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Infographic: How Close Did Felix Baumgartner Get To The Edge Of Space?
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Men Who Fall From Space
Yakov Solodovnik jumped from more than 10,000 meters (around six miles) in September 1939. World War II had just begun. Over the next six years fighter aircraft would routinely fly in the stratosphere — that is, at an altitude greater than 10,000 meters — forcing pilots sometimes to abandon their planes at heights from which no one had jumped before. My great-uncle’s jump seems to have been prepared hastily: on-the-ground testing had only begun in August.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:39 AM on October 18, 2012


RedBull's Stratos Stunt:
It was exciting and death-defying, but at the end of the day it was a just an elaborate publicity stunt that will likely see RedBull sales skyrocket this month. But I’d argue that the event wasn’t entirely a success from a publicity standpoint. RedBull, who sponsored the jump, wasted an incredible opportunity. It had an eight million person audience captivated, but did nothing to teach that audience about the context behind Baumgartner’s jump. Joe Kittinger’s 1960 jump was amazing, the heritage behind these types of tests is fascinating, but without any context the audience just saw a daredevil break a record for record-breaking’s sake.

I realize I sound like an irritated historian, but I also have a background (albeit a brief one) in publicity. Not taking advantage of an opportunity to teach eight million people a few awesome things about science is a terrible waste, from an historian’s standpoint and a public relation’s standpoint...
posted by flex at 1:26 PM on October 20, 2012


"at the end of the day it was a just an elaborate publicity stunt"

I couldn't disagree more. So much of the press has gone for this jaded 'it's all just a commercial for Red Bull' angle, sometimes barely mentioning the jump at all.

This is a record that has been held for 50 years. Many people have tried and failed to break it in the intervening years. The original jump was an Air Force experiment, and, despite what this article says, this one was too. Times have changed and this time the Air Force didn't want to be officially involved, because of the possibility of a grisly end. Nevertheless a lot of valuable data was collected and offered to them. (I easily found lots of quotes from various Air Force officials excited about getting their hands on this data).

And most of the big historical record-breaking events such as Lindburgh's flight across the Atlantic were sponsored. His (Lindburgh's) event certainly wasn't scientific, but it provided the world the chance to share in the excitement and provided historical milestones of the progress that mankind was making.

Maybe since all the major records such as crossing the Atlantic/Pacific by various means have already been broken, that there few such milestones left (at least on Earth), that these bored (and boring) reporters have forgotten how to get excited about these historical occasions.
posted by eye of newt at 2:12 AM on October 21, 2012


"at the end of the day it was a just an elaborate publicity stunt"

I couldn't disagree more. So much of the press has gone for this jaded 'it's all just a commercial for Red Bull' angle, sometimes barely mentioning the jump at all.


While this may be true of the press in general (I haven't read the press reports), the writer's point is quite specifically that Red Bull didn't take advantage of the opportunity to raise general awareness of the science and history behind this new landmark, and the possible future implications of it. Rather than saying that there isn't any significance beyond publicity, she is annoyed that Red Bull treated it as if it had no larger significance or context.
posted by bardophile at 2:49 AM on October 21, 2012


the writer's point is quite specifically that Red Bull didn't take advantage of the opportunity to raise general awareness of the science and history behind this new landmark

In the comments after the article, they mentioned that the Red Bull commentators did, in fact, mention most of the points that she thought they should have mentioned.

And why pick on the sponsor? There are quite a few other sources of information. My interest started years ago with a cover article in Popular Science that talked about the science in depth. And apparently there are some science specials coming up from National Geographic and others, which I look forward to.
posted by eye of newt at 10:04 AM on October 21, 2012


Felix Baumgartner Sounds Off on NASA, Sir Richard Branson
posted by homunculus at 9:52 AM on October 27, 2012


Jeez, I wish he hadn't opened up his mouth.
posted by desjardins at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2012


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