Skydiver aims for supersonic plunge

2012-09-26 12:27

Cape Canaveral - The countdown is on for skydiver Felix Baumgartner. In just two weeks, the Austrian parachutist will attempt to go supersonic when he jumps from a record altitude of 37km over the US.

Baumgartner expects to reach a top speed of 1 110km/h and break the sound barrier with only his body.

Project managers announced on Tuesday the attempt will take place 8 October.

Baumgartner jumped from 29km in July. This time, he hopes to break the all-time record of 31km set in 1960.

Baumgartner's capsule was damaged in the latest practice jump and had to be repaired and retested. A giant helium balloon will hoist the pressurized capsule with Baumgartner inside, dressed in a pressure suit.

  • ShaunInTheSky - 2012-09-26 13:50

    Lucky guy!

      preshen.govender.90 - 2012-09-27 08:41

      my hero

  • coenraad.vanderwesthuizen.3 - 2012-09-26 15:06

    Sonic Boom? Sonic Splat?

      ivan.faught - 2012-09-26 16:05

      What a bounce to look forward to!

  • zaatheist - 2012-09-26 16:24

    I am no scientist so can some one explain why terminal velocity does not come in to play. Is it the reduced air resistance at altitude?

      stirer.kathray - 2012-09-26 18:23

      I agree with you. It's impossible to break the sound barrier by just falling, The higher youi are, the higher the speed of sound. When you reach terminal velocity, that's it! - you are not going to go faster. In fact, the more you get into the lower atmosphere, terminal velocity actually decreases. Even a Spitfire diving full bore couldn't break the sound barrier. The guy's a nut.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-09-26 18:12

    He is gonna burn up upon re-entry.

      stirer.kathray - 2012-09-26 18:26

      He could only burn up if he has the initial speed before entering Earth's atmosphere. Only with that speed can he create enough friction to create the heat. At that height, his problem will be cold and not heat.

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