Skydiver plans freefall from 25 mi

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by blackwood, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. He will leap head-first from a weather balloon 25 miles above Earth and plummet at more than 1,000mph with only a parachute for company.

    He will face external temperatures of minus 100c while inside his carbon-fibre suit it will be a stifling 65c - almost 150 fahrenheit.

    And most amazing of all, Michel Fournier is actually looking forward to it.

    The daredevil Frenchman, a greyhaired 63-year-old former paratrooper, aims to become the first person to break the sound barrier in free-fall.

    As he plunges through the stratosphere at supersonic speed, he also hopes to break three more world records - for the longest sky dive, the highest parachute jump and the highest altitude achieved by a human in a balloon.

    Despite the intense cold outside, his £35,000 suit will heat up inside when it meets air resistance. His crash helmet will have its own air supply and reinforced ear pads to protect him from the sonic boom as he breaks through the Mach 1 sound barrier.

    Fournier was one of three candidates selected in the 1980s to take part in a military endurance test to see whether a parachutist could descend from 125,000ft - almost 24 miles.

    The project was shelved in 1988 - but he decided to go it alone. He hopes to make the jump over the Great Plains of Saskatchewan in Canada some time next month, weather permitting.

    "I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid, but I am also very excited," he said."It really is a leap into the unknown."

    After leaping from the balloon, Fournier believes he will break the 760mph sound barrier within 37 seconds.

    The lack of friction due to the thinness of the air will mean he can attain a much higher terminal velocity, and his team of scientists estimate he will reach the top speed of 1,113mph before he is slowed down by greater air resistance.

    His parachute will not open until six minutes, 25 seconds after jumping and he will finally reach the Earth after around eight and a half minutes.

    The record for highest leap was set in 1960 by a U.S. Air Force test pilot, at just under 20 miles.
     
  2. Supposedly, Joseph Kittinger broke the sound barrier on one of his free falls, but it wasn't officiated.
     
  3. and with a depressurized hand. badass!
     
  4. #5 blackwood, Aug 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
  5. wasnt the original plan going to be much higher?
     
  6. I read about this in the New Yorker, apparently he tried twice before and the weather & equipment #$%#ed him over. There is only one specific time in the summer when he can attempt it, so it may not happen.
     
  7. dont humans reach a terminal velocity of 140mph? or similar?
     
  8. The terminal velocity will increase with altitude. So he will initially accelerate to 725mph, then he will slow down as the air gets denser.
     
  9. didn't an American test pilot do this in the 1950s??? I recall watching something along those lines on the history channel
     
  10. I think he'll need an air spike
     
  11. He should buy stock in Dramamine.
     
  12. As high as he's going, he'll actually experience the air getting less dense (and the speed of sound decreasing) as he _falls_.

    For a while anyway.

    25 miles up is in the stratosphere.
     
  13. On another jump he lost consciousness and went into a flat spin at 120 RPM. His automatic parachute saved him.
     
  14. wouldnt breaking the sound barrier, like, #$%# you up?
     
  15. Yes but I don't think from 25 miles high.
     
  16. I know, isn't the barrier pretty solid? It's like running into a invisible brick wall
     
  17. lأ
     
  18. 20 miles was his highest, I believe.
     
  19. no, the air is far too thin at that altitude to do any damage

    joseph Kittinger hit 714 mph in one of his jumps
     
  20. but what about when he slows back down again to subsonic speeds when the air becomes more dense? because isnt there another explosion when you go back under the sound barrier again?
     
  21. Tell that to these guys. Or their children, I suppose.
     
  22. Harsh.
     
  23. Frank, anyway.
     
  24. Shuttle reentry is at what, 30,000 km/h? 30 times as fast as this guy is planning to go?

    Also, Jewish conspiracy.
     

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