I hope you all had a very nice weekend.
Yesterday, history was made in a very unique and exciting way. A project that has lasted nearly a decade culminated in the most incredible daredevil jump that has ever been attempted. A while back, I wrote about the Red Bull Stratos project, which has been devoted to designing a high altitude jump like no other–from over 120,000 feet above the Earth.
The previous record, set by Joe Kittinger–a mentor during this project–back in the 1960s, was broken yesterday afternoon, as Felix Baumgartner rode in his specially-designed capsule attached to a massive balloon to a height of nearly 128,000 feet, or roughly 24 miles. That height is only one of the records he broke. He also succeeded in the fastest freefall, when he achieved a speed of roughly 730 miles per hour as he plummeted through the thin upper atmosphere. That speed earned him a special title, as he is the only person to break the sound barrier outside of a mechanical body. With only a special suit surrounding him, his speed was measured at just over Mach 1.2.
Many people are marveling at not only the records being broken, but also the man who broke them. A man who, while standing on the small platform looking out at the curvature of our planet simply said, “I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to see how small you are. I’m going home now,” and after a small salute, hopped into oblivion and history.
The achievements of both Felix and the Stratos team are not records alone, but also priceless information on the conditions of our upper atmosphere and how the human body reacts to falling at such speeds. As such, this project may one day lead to a system that would enable astronauts separated from their shuttle to safely make it back to Earth. As we continue our reach into space, that knowledge will surely prove to be invaluable.
Moving on to the magazine this week, we’re going to start it off with an interview from the now-famous chef, Christine Ha, conducted by our own Alena Roberts. Following that, we have a great line-up of articles from staff writers and contributors which I think you will all enjoy.
That’s all for now. Take care, have a great week, and as always, thanks for reading.
Ross Hammond, Editor