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The Tech Behind Felix Baumgartner's Stratospheric Skydive

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the show-me-the-gadgets dept.

Space 109

MrSeb writes "Felix Baumgartner has successfully completed his stratospheric skydive from 128,000 feet (39km), breaking a record that was set 52 years ago by Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger — that much we know. From the balloon, to the capsule, to the gear that Baumgartner wore during his 730 mph (1174 kph) free fall, the technology behind the scenes is impressive, and in some cases bleeding edge. ExtremeTech takes a deep dive into the tech that kept Baumgartner alive during the three-hour ascent and (much shorter) descent — and the tech that allowed us to watch every moment of the Red Bull Stratos mission live, as captured by no less than 15 digital cameras and numerous other scientific instruments."

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109 comments

Helium. (1, Funny)

pmsr (560617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41652839)

So, that's where all that Helium is going...

Too bad. Helium could have been put to good use (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41652961)

like all of us talking in squeacky voices for a week.

Re:Helium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653023)

Don't worry. It will return after the election is over November the 7th.

Tech Fell behind (2)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41652847)

I initially thought this said "The tech fell behind". As in Youtube collapsing in the middle.

Re:Tech Fell behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41652951)

Yeah, I was lucky and was able to watch the whole event with no issues, but several of the other ET guys got a lot of errors.

Re:Tech Fell behind (0)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653595)

With all the tech and engineers that were mobilized, was it that difficult to prevent FB to spin during the free fall? According to the various documentaries released before the fall, the spin was the problem to be addressed (and that's the reason why he actually opened the parachute earlier - as he started to spin quickly).

Re:Tech Fell behind (5, Informative)

rHBa (976986) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654059)

Did you read abou this on Fox News by any chance? You obviously didn't watch the actual footage.

Felix stabilised the spin manually WELL before deploying his parachute.

They had a drogue chute ready to help stabilise the spin if it was required but he didn't use it because it could have prevented him from reaching Mach speed.

If he HAD deployed his main parachute while in an uncontrollable spin it is VERY UNLIKELY that it would have deployed properly, much more likely he would have remained in a spin, not so fast but with his body mass further away from the centre of rotation and hence still massive G forces.

Re:Tech Fell behind (5, Interesting)

kaiser423 (828989) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654097)

Yes, it was. At those altitudes, the only thing to prevent spins would be a gas reaction system like satellites use. Aka, vent gas out of pressurized bottles to counter-act unwanted spin. Having those on his suit would have added a ton of weight, and precluded him wanting to do this in just a pressure suit. There's no air or anything to allow him to do it himself. That's why when he jumped, he tried to be as still as possible. Even while spinning, the idea was not to move or react. Just wait until you hit enough atmosphere that you can move your body to stabilize yourself with the drag. When he started tumbling, I was screaming for him to hit the atmosphere and be able to stabilize himself. Then he did, and once that happened I knew that he had it nailed.

Re:Tech Fell behind (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | about a year and a half ago | (#41656681)

There's still some air up there - otherwise the balloon wouldn't be able to get there. There's not enough for a person to self-stabilize, but he had a chute that was set to go off automatically if he spun fast enough to be dangerous that would have been enough to stabilize him.

One small step for man, one giant leap for ... (5, Funny)

mni12 (451821) | about a year and a half ago | (#41652963)

1. Figure out a cool project
2. Find a sponsor
3. Take one step to skydive from 128,000 ft
4. Profit

Re:One small step for man, one giant leap for ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41652983)

You would've been more impressed if it were funded with tax dollars?

Crazy is as crazy does. And I'm not talking about a skydiver.

Re:One small step for man, one giant leap for ... (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653429)

Yes, and this is definitely why there's a line of people willing to skydive from 128,000ft. Easy money, right?

Re:One small step for man, one giant leap for ... (1)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654143)

Oh, I suspect there'd be a long line of people willing to do this. But very few of them would have the means to do so, or the time or dedication required.

The path into the history books isn't guaranteed to be paved with gold.

Re:One small step for man, one giant leap for ... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655129)

When explaining his motives for joining Red Bull, Joe Kittinger explained that since 1960 he had been getting at least 1 phone call a month from some skydiver who wanted to beat his record and was asking for advice but when he explained to them the logistical challenges they faced they would quickly back off.

Too many stories (-1, Redundant)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41652965)

How many stories does /. damn-well need on this one single event? /. is NOT A BLOG, and wouldn't work well as one. Be a little more selective in what gets posted to the front page, and you'll have better, deeper discussions and much happier readers.

Re:Too many stories (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41652991)

This only the second article today and you are already complaining? I would expect one more article summarizing the press conference. And one or two dupes in the next slow news day. If you were expecting any different, you must be new here.

Re:Too many stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653005)

LOL, this is /. Since when do we ever have "better, deeper discussions" on anything ?

Re:Too many stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653043)

Let's not forget all the Aussie stories plastered over Slashdot whenever certain "editors" are in charge..

Re:Too many stories (4, Informative)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653847)

Let's not forget all the Aussie stories plastered over Slashdot whenever certain "editors" are in charge..

Aussie refers to Australian. Felix is Austrian

Re:Too many stories (3, Interesting)

multiben (1916126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653133)

To be fair, they point to different articles which happen to be on the same subject. The first was all about the jump and links so we could watch it, the second is all about the tech behind the jump. Personally I liked both posts. But if I hadn't liked the second post it would only have taken up a few seconds of my day to figure it out.

Re:Too many stories (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653353)

Personally I liked both posts. But if I hadn't liked the second post it would only have taken up a few seconds of my day to figure it out.

You [slashdot.org]
have [slashdot.org]
seriously [slashdot.org]
underestimated [slashdot.org]
the [slashdot.org]
scope [slashdot.org]
of my [slashdot.org]
complaint [slashdot.org]

Stand by .... (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653421)

We're getting a report about a balloon-launched capsule coming down on some guy's front lawn.

How many stories (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41656633)

I'd guess about 10,500 to 11,000 if he was jumping from a building thats how many stories it would have.

Shoot? (4, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653053)

There is a fail-safe which could have deployed the main shoot if he had been moving at more than 115 feet (35 meters) per second at 2,000 feet (610 meters) or less altitude.

You know, the parashoot. Idiots.

Re:Shoot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653295)

Oh chute! The editors missed that one.

833.9 mph actually (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653107)

According to This article at USA Today [usatoday.com] he hit 833.9 mph

Re:833.9 mph actually (1, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653293)

Typo, somebodies finger hit the 8 instead of a 7

Re:833.9 mph actually (4, Informative)

udoschuermann (158146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653997)

Indeed, during the press conference the following figures were stated at least twice:

Exit altitude: 128100 ft (39045m) [record]
Free fall time: 4m 20s
Free fall distance: 119826 ft (36529m)
Max velocity: 373 m/s (1342.8 km/h, 833.9 mph, Mach 1.24) [record]

A third record would be the maximum distance of ascent with a human-occupied balloon, which may exceed the 39045m of exit altitude, as the balloon appeared to descend somewhat before Baumgartner exited. Actually, if the telemetry information displayed on the feed can be trusted then he reached at least 39068m (128177 ft) at the time that he was first sticking his feet out into the open.

No matter the numbers, this is an impressive achievement!

Re:833.9 mph actually (0)

muttoj (572791) | about a year and a half ago | (#41656545)

Impressive?

Guy steps in balloon
3 hours later he steps out of ballon
Some minutes later he deployes his chute.

I really do not see the big fuss about it.

Re:833.9 mph actually (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41656659)

Well it's not physically challenging or technically challenging for the person to get in or out of the balloon. It's more a mental challenge to psych yourself up to it. Also the space suit and capsule you can do it in are technically challenging but really it can be done with rather old tech.

Re:833.9 mph actually (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41658431)

Also the space suit and capsule you can do it in are technically challenging but really it can be done with rather old tech.

Technically, he's not the first to do a supersonic jump. An earlier recorded event had a test pilot and his specialist violently ejected from their SR-71 when it broke up at Mach 3+ [roadrunner...ionale.com].

Of course, it wasn't too high up (only 70k ft) but it was supersonic (just horizontally, instead of vertically). I would be surprised if a lot of what was learned came from that event.

Re:833.9 mph actually (2)

arkane1234 (457605) | about a year and a half ago | (#41662815)

Wow.. you can generalize just about anything.

Jump:
Guy steps in balloon, 3 hours later steps out of ballon (sic), some minutes later he deploys his chute

land speed record:
guy gets in vehicle, accelerates, deploys chute to decelerate.

Moon landing:
guys get into capsule, fire spews from the bottom of rocket, guys step out of capsule after it lands

Seriously, don't generalize, it makes you look stupid.

Re:833.9 mph actually (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653319)

BBC reported the same number [bbc.co.uk]. If so, it's incredible. And even if it's 733.9, 'tis nothing to complain about.

Re:833.9 mph actually (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41654157)

Don't fucking use "'tis" when it's unnecessary. You sound like a fucking tool.

Re:833.9 mph actually (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655537)

Heh. Tis you who is the tool!

Not the first (4, Informative)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653139)

He was not the first to parachute faster [jalopnik.com] than the speed of sound. He was the first to do so voluntarily. Of the first two people to do this, one of them died in the air. Not an easy feat.

Re:Not the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41654033)

Man that is a gnarly first hand account.

There is a difference... (4, Informative)

thrill12 (711899) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654607)

Baumgartner achieved speed of sound 'autonomously' without first sitting in a high-speed jet but by freefalling. All other examples are of pilots ejecting from a high-speed airplane, going over Mach using an engine. So while what you say is correct, I would rather emphasize the "freefall" versus "engine-powered" part :)

Holy polysemy Batman! (1)

srussia (884021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41655517)

Baumgartner achieved speed of sound 'autonomously' without first sitting in a high-speed jet but by freefalling.

Now we'll have to ask: "Is that 'free' as in beer, speech, fall or will?"

Re:There is a difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41657451)

Technically, isn't anyone who does a space walk from the ISS or from low earth orbit breaking the speed of sound, at a higher speed even. There is still some atmosphere up there, and orbiting is just a free fall where you keep missing the ground.

The "engine-powered" part is important at lower altitudes where the atmospheric drag is much higher and is much more dangerous if you aren't sufficiently protected, i.e. being on the inside of an aircraft frame.

They forgot two critical elements (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653223)

The most essential pieces of equipment were a bottle of Jack Daniels and a blindfold.

Unassisted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653239)

...Captain Charles Yeager became the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound in his X-1 aircraft. Daredevil Felix Baumgartner just became the first man to accomplish the same feat without a plane — or indeed any assistance at all.

What about gravity?

Re:Unassisted (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654231)

...Captain Charles Yeager became the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound in his X-1 aircraft. Daredevil Felix Baumgartner just became the first man to accomplish the same feat without a plane — or indeed any assistance at all.

What about gravity?

Gravity doesn't really exist. It's actually Intelligent Pushing, where an external all-powerful creator stretches his invisible arm out to make sure that nobody floats off the Earth, or falls off its edge.

Re:Unassisted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41658631)

aahh, got it. let's continue.

I wonder what went through his head as he fell (2)

antdah (1057288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653255)

"Hello Ground!" or "oh no, not again"

I bet it was one of them though.

Re:I wonder what went through his head as he fell (2)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654243)

"Hello Ground!" or "oh no, not again"

I bet it was one of them though.

Initial camera footage of his passing a bowl of petunias was mysteriously erased.

One important piece of tech was still missing (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653271)

The recording of this event, while impressive, missed one crucial bit of technology: a humidity meter.
Now we'll never know if he was the first to make this jump without wetting his pants in the process.

Re:One important piece of tech was still missing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653327)

The adults here call that a hygrometer.

How far? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653377)

To put this altitude in perspective it is more than three times further than the seven miles James Cameron went below the surface of the ocean to reach the depths of the Mariana trench.

Yes, but it's only about twice as far as the Olympic 20 kilometres race walk [wikipedia.org], and only about half as much separation as the Windward Passage [wikipedia.org] strait in the Caribbean Sea!

Re:How far? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year and a half ago | (#41658919)

"Similar to Cameron’s sub, the capsule features a pressure sphere, although a six foot one made out of fiberglass and epoxy instead of the four foot version made from metal that Cameron needed." He also compares the pressurized capsule to James Cameron's sub, as if their designs are similar in the slightest. Designing for a vacuum is a hell of a lot easier than designing for the bottom of the ocean. What's with all the scientific reporters not having the slightest clue about their subject matter?

Where the hell is the Mach 1 headcam...? (1)

Nostromo21 (1947840) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653389)

...is what I'd like to know!? No doubt only available on some Red Bull(shite) pay-per-view site, pfft!

Call me when someone jumps from the *true* edge of space, 100k+ (or better yet, from the upper Thermo/Exosphere 700+ kms! :).

Re:Where the hell is the Mach 1 headcam...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655465)

It will be released in a documentary by BBC/Discovery.

Cocaine (1)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653423)

After watching the fall, putting cocaine in Red Bull seems more practical than ever, even if the Germans beg to differ. [bbc.co.uk]

The standard Red Bull found in most US stores doesn't contain coca leaves, but the Swiss cola variety does, and it's mighty tasty -- very herbal and spicy.

A friend just noted something as I typed the above: This was literally a small step for man, but a rather giant leap for ...a man. Buzz would be proud anyway.

Re:Cocaine (1)

splatter (39844) | about a year and a half ago | (#41657395)

In Holland you can buy liqueur infused with coca leaves & other botanicals that while not cocaine will give you a nice speedy drunk feeling. No issues getting it into the US either.

Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (3, Insightful)

viking80 (697716) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653671)

Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher as the molecular weight is only 1/2 of Helium. Also, it would not have wasted a precious finite resource for little gain.

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (1)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653769)

...molecular weight is only 1/4 of Helium... There, fixed that for you. And before we all reach for our tinfoil hats, here's why he didn't use hydrogen: http://www.airships.net/hindenburg/disaster/myths [airships.net]

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653969)

...molecular weight is only 1/4 of Helium...
There, fixed that for you.

And before we all reach for our tinfoil hats, here's why he didn't use hydrogen: http://www.airships.net/hindenburg/disaster/myths [airships.net]

Sorry mate - hydrogen is diatomic with a molecular mass of 2; helium is monatomic with a molecular mass of 4 (atomic mass units). Ask your neighborhood chemist if you want to get it right...

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653985)

No, the GP was right. Helium is monatomic and 4g/mol. Hydrogen is diatomic. That means it forms H2 molecules. Therefore, it is 2g/mol. 2 divided by 4 is 1/2.

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (4, Informative)

justthinkit (954982) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654025)

OP is right. Here is Wiki's definition of molecular weight [wikipedia.org] -- "The molecular mass (m) is the mass of a molecule."
.

A molecule of hydrogen is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms. A molecule of helium is made up of 1 helium atom. "2 times 1" is half of "1 times 4".

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41654899)

While I certainly wouldn't want to see passenger dirigibles inflated with hydrogen, it's less of a problem for a balloon ascent like this.

1. The capsule is tethered far from the balloon. 2. Once it gains a few thousand feet, the risk of explosion is low since the capsule had a parachute pre-deployed. 3. Once it enters the stratosphere, explosion is impossible since there's not enough oxygen to react with the H2.

I think this flght could have been conducted quite safely with H2. The only real danger is on the ground when the H2 is in the balloon. Pressurized H2 is not a problem unless somebody shoots the tank. Keep the guns away and have professionals on the ground. Now, since this was Red Bull working in the USA... yeah, better go with helium.

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (4, Informative)

Zeussy (868062) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654355)

As both Helium and Hydrogen are much lighter than air, the difference in buoyancy between the 2 is only about 8% [wikipedia.org]

Big difference for a 1682kg balloon with 522kg He (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655843)

Much of the total weight of the craft is the balloon at 1 682 kg with 522 kg Helium.

If you can reduce the size of the balloon 8%, you can also reduce the weight of it the same, therefore you can again reduce the size and so on. In the limit this makes a big difference.

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (3, Interesting)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654989)

What makes you think they wanted to go any higher? They infact had to vent out helium, by opening valves, so that they dont go any higher than 128K ft.

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (2)

Deadstick (535032) | about a year and a half ago | (#41657313)

For a balloon in air, the lifting power of hydrogen is only about 8.6% more than that of helium. Buoyancy depends on the difference in density between the gases inside and outside. The sea-level densities are:

Air 1.2 kg/m^3
Hydrogen 0.0899 kg/m^3
Helium 0.178 kg/m^3

So the density differences are 1.11 and 1.022 respectively.

To put it in more concrete terms: If the lifting power of a gas were inversely proportional to its density, a vacuum bottle would lift infinite weight.

Re:Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher (1)

silverspell (1556765) | about a year and a half ago | (#41658733)

Hydrogen would have gotten him a lot higher as the molecular weight is only 1/2 of Helium. Also, it would not have wasted a precious finite resource for little gain.

I had the same thought, but if WIkipedia is correct [wikipedia.org] and I'm parsing the article correctly, the gain would've only been about 8% at sea level:

Thus hydrogen's additional buoyancy compared to helium is: 1.202 / 1.113 = 1.080, or approximately 8.0%.

Now, as the balloon gained altitude, that percentage difference would've increased until the surrounding atmosphere has the same density as helium, at which point hydrogen would give an extra boost. But by that point the amount of lift itself will have drastically diminished (though the expansion of the balloon compensates for some of that, yes?) so you're chasing smaller numbers, and I don't know whether other factors like leakage and momentum become more important than absolute buoyancy.

Another typo (3, Informative)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year and a half ago | (#41653685)

Just to show I do occasionally RTFA... "...the speed of sound — approximately 690 meters per second..." Not unless the air up there is 911 deg C it aint.

Old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41653971)

They already did this in the '60s. This isn't about new tech, it's only about advertising for redbull.

Re:Old tech (4, Insightful)

GTRacer (234395) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654389)

When Joe Kittinger jumped for Excelsior in the '50s and '60s, he was testing the feasibilty high-altitude escape systems. He succeeded, and in the process, set some very impressive and rather durable records. Stratos was a not-very-subtle ad-funded stunt show. There's real science being done but I have little doubt that it's ultimately in service to the sponsor (also Austrian).

Whether or not Red Bull spent two years and who knows how much, why isn't this still one of the coolest things to happen in some time? Watching him stand there with the curvature of Earth below him is one of those things that makes me jealous. And there are some things being tested - newer versions of the high-alt suits and maybe more.

However, I'm a little annoyed about people thinking that now astronauts and such can use suits like Felix's to escape bad situations in space. Felix jumped more or less straight down with almost no lateral velocity. Someone BASE-jumping from ISS may pull some staggering free-fall numbers (greater height for 9.8 (m/s)^2) but those won't likely compare to the 11,000 mph they're already moving parallel with the surface just to maintain orbit. Toasty!

Re:Old tech (0)

BluPhenix316 (2656403) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654805)

When I don't have MOD points, I read posts like this and regret it, someone MOD this guy up.

Re:Old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655609)

Why are you using all caps? MOD? Is it an acronym of some sort? Ministry Of Defense? Mostly Ordinary Dumbasses? Mighty Old Dick? What? Why?

Re:Old tech (1)

Skinny Rav (181822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41655509)

When Joe Kittinger jumped for Excelsior in the '50s and '60s, he was testing the feasibilty high-altitude escape systems. He succeeded, and in the process, set some very impressive and rather durable records. Stratos was a not-very-subtle ad-funded stunt show. There's real science being done but I have little doubt that it's ultimately in service to the sponsor (also Austrian).

While it is all true, I am all for such ways to spend ad and marketing funds instead of just paying celebrities. Apple has reportedly spent 1 bn for marketing of iphone and ipad. Have they made anything really cool with all this money? I know that it is a matter of a different targetted group, but most Red Bull campaigns and stunts are awesome and some even borderline useful.

Disclaimer: I have drunk Red Bull twice. Nevermore. Likewise other "energy drinks".

Re:Old tech (3)

QuantumPion (805098) | about a year and a half ago | (#41656253)

You can't "base jump" out of the ISS unless you have a portable jetpack capable of decelerating you to deorbit. You need a delta-V of around 225 ft/s [cdeagle.com]. If you step outside the ISS, all that will happen is that you will continue orbit the Earth with the ISS. You would starve to death before deorbiting solely due to atmospheric friction.

Re:Old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41656707)

So they'll need a suit with thermal protection and thrust for orientation, bonus points if it makes you look like Tony Stark.

Re:Old tech (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41658411)

Someone BASE-jumping from ISS may pull some staggering free-fall numbers

Actually, no.
Since the ISS is in orbit, any object detaching from it without propulsion would stay in almost the same orbit.
To fall to the ground, one would first have to use a rocket to decelerate significantly.

shunkygirl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41654091)

http://www.china-impact-crusher.com
http://www.cnshunky.com
http://www.bestssj.com

Live helmet cam (2)

thoughtlover (83833) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654287)

Where was the helmet cam? I watched the event live from their site and thought that we'd see his perspective as he fell. Is there no tech available to do that? I find that surprising with seven years in the making. Did I miss something? Now that I'm thinking of it, it would have been much better if he jumped with a couple sharks sporting lasers --wearing live helmet cams, too.

Re:Live helmet cam (1)

janek78 (861508) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654855)

The official site now has a video that includes some of the on-body camera shots, I am sure we will see many more of them as the footage is processed. I believe he had a couple cameras mounted on the suit, so don't worry.

Re:Live helmet cam (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41654919)

Downlink technology for the bandwidth needed for HD over 39km transmission distances isn't that small or power-frugal . Remember he has to carry it all, and then land it as well.

Well it depnds on HD Video Bitrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41656593)

They might be claiming its HD because its 720i or 1080i, but what lot of people seems to miss is the bit rate. So even at 24+ frames a second it might not be the same bluray quality video.

If you have crap bit rate, you don't need much bandwidth on the RF downlink.

Re:Live helmet cam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41656227)

According to the official site, there wasn't one. There was a camera on each of his knees and one on his chest pack. One of the videos shows a few brief shots from the chest pack, but I imagine most of the footage will be saved at least until the BBC and National Geographic docos have been aired in a month or so.

Wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41654301)

The real tech behind his stratospheric skydive is COMPUTER GRAPHICS.

The shit was clearly fake.

Re:Wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655935)

I agree. You can see the shadows are wrong.

reply (-1)

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So let me see (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655597)

In 1960 we managed 102,800 feet, now we can do 128,000 feet. An improvement of 25%. That's with 50 years of progress and bleeding edge technology. How much did computers improve in the same amount of time?

Do you see now why it makes no sense to compare the evolution of information processing technology to physical technology?

Hypoxic. (1)

rew (6140) | about a year and a half ago | (#41655755)

Anybody watch the video and agree with me that he seemed severely hypoxic in his reactions to messages from ground control?

29 release seatbelt. ... no reaction

From then on, he's quite unresponsive. "say Roger if... " he responds with "roger", but that could just be a response to the "say roger" and not the part after the "if"....

Re:Hypoxic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41655965)

He could also have been scared out of his mind and/or massivly amp'd up on adrenaline...at that height, all I'd hear would be my own heartbeat. Forget hearing ground control.

Re:Hypoxic. (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year and a half ago | (#41656497)

It could've been that FB simply couldn't hear ground control. As an Amateur Radio operator, I was appalled at the horrible quality of the comms they were using. They couldn't hear each other half the time, and even at the best of times the transmissions were garbled beyond readability.

I think there was a point where he went to an in-suit radio (possibly before step 29), and comms went downhill fast.

Re:Hypoxic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41659725)

I tuned in just prior to him stepping out and starting the decent. I thought he sounded extremely hypoxic speaking during the decent, so much so that I mentioned it to my wife and was surprised when he stabilized himself. I'd started to think about turning the feed off to prevent watching what might occur.

6 million people were able watch live on youtube (1)

badzilla (50355) | about a year and a half ago | (#41655841)

Not as impressive as the actual jump but could not help feeling it was cool that I could do that.

no video during the free fall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41657279)

There wasn't any video streaming over the internet. There was just a blank screen stating 'Starting soon". The data stopped updating as soon as he jumped. And the mission progress status was stuck at filling the balloon!

833.9 MPH (mach 1.24) - not 730 (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about a year and a half ago | (#41660083)

this was the the top speed , still unverified however. watch the press conference stats. He went faster than 730 MPH.
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