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Altitude: Thousand Feet
Speed: mph Speed of sound:
Atmospheric temp: Fahrenheit
Atmospheric pressure: hpa
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Felix Baumgartner fully loaded weighs 260 pounds wearing specialized equipment for a supersonic freefall. He's protected head to toe in a pressurized space suit.
The 12-pound chest pack contains monitoring, tracking and communications systems. Critical data during the jump will be transmitted to mission control in real time.
The pressurized capsule weighs as much as a VW Beetle (2,900 lbs). A helium-filled balloon will lift the capsule and Felix at about 1,000 ft per minute. That's a better climb rate than you'd get with a single engine 150 hp airplane.
Once launched, Felix will float to 120,000 ft in less than 3 hours. The 30-million-cubic-foot helium balloon is 1/10 the thickness of a Ziploc bag, yet weighs more than 3,000 pounds. Stretched out it would cover about 40 acres.
As the balloon ascends the temperature decreases with height up to the tropopause. In the stratosphere the temperature actually increases with height. This warming comes from ozone molecules absorbing ultraviolet light from the sun.
Felix pays special attention to step off from the capsule. Due to the lack of atmosphere below, nothing will slow him down. A stable body position is key to preventing an uncontrollable spin and possible loss of consciousness.
Before Felix leaves the safety of his pressurized capsule, he will wait for a final "clear to jump" from mission control. Once he depressurizes and detaches hoses, he must jump. In an emergency he could ride the capsule back to earth unpressurized but with limited oxygen reserves.
The delta position (head down) is best for stability, decreased drag, and attempt to break the speed of sound.
Felix is likely to reach the speed of sound within 40 seconds from 120,000 ft. As he moves away from the edge of space and closer to the troposphere, the atmosphere becomes thicker as it holds more air molecules.
Mission Attempts 1. First to Reach Supersonic Speed in Freefall: First person to break the speed of sound and achieve Mach 1 in freefall, estimated 690 mph, with further acceleration possible, 2. Freefall from Highest Altitude: Expected jump from 120,000 ft, 3. Longest Freefall Time: Expected freefall of 5 minutes, 35 seconds or more, 4. Highest Manned Balloon Flight: Expected ascent to 120,000 ft
As Felix falls closer to the troposphere, where airliners fly, the air molecules are multiplying which acts as a gradual brake when he comes thundering through the sky at supersonic speeds.
As Felix falls closer to earth, air molecules continue to increase acting as a gradual brake as he thunders through the sky. He must slow to 172 mph before opening his parachute. Worst-case scenario, his reserve chute will open automatically.
Felix deploys his parachute at 5,000 ft. From this point he has 10-15 minutes before reaching the ground. His total time in the air from the edge of space to Earth: 15-20 minutes.