Posted on 14-10-2012
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

It is hard being an explorer/adventurer nowadays.  The highest peaks have been surmounted.  The continents have been discovered.  The rivers have been traced to their source.  Technology has made the explorers obsolete and many adventurers archaic – circumventing the globe in a balloon gets media attention but not the adulation that accompanied the descent of Charles Lindbergh in Paris (video below):



That leaves the murky depth of the oceans or the frigid reaches of space.  Space flights have become somewhat routine and unless man ends up on Mars are unlikely to fire up the public imagination.  The oceans have churned up multiple Hollywood flicks about the dangers lurking beneath, but since Jacques Cousteau have not (to my knowledge) dredged up many celebrities.

Enter Felix Baumgartner.  In January 2010, the Austrian skydiver announced a plan to become the first parachutist to break the sound barrier.  The 128,097 ft jump involved breaking the previous record by over 25,000 ft.  Needless to say jumping from a point where the air pressure is 2% of sea level is extremely dangerous.

While he did not break the old record for the longest freefall, Baumgartner appears to have broken the sound barrier.  More important he landed safely.  His path to fame has more practical implications than a daredevil’s stunt.  NASA was interested for information it can glean to make it safer for astronauts attempting re-entry.

Meanwhile Felix Baumgartner gets his name etched in the record and history books.  Congratulations!!

Video of the jump is below:



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