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French skydiver attempts free fall at 130,000 ft

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posted on May, 26 2008 @ 08:53 PM

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Saskatchewan — A French skydiver has been forced to delay plans to make history by jumping from the stratosphere above Canada.

Michel Fournier, 64, had planned Monday to take to the sky in a capsule attached to a massive helium balloon and then step out and free fall 130,000 feet.
click for more

There are talks that he'll pass the sound barrier but such talks seem speculative at first until further research yields Joseph Kittinger.

He came close at the age of 32 to breaking the sound barrier at a recorded speed of Mach 0.9 and this was in 1960. One would think that technological advances alone would ensure the average person would be able to pass such speeds.

Combination of wearing a pressure suit and breathing oxygen beforehand yields an environmental system that can keep him alive and conscious during the free fall. So it seems that all necessary precautions have been taken. Makes you think he's not taking that much of a risk; with the exception of system failure but what are the chances of that happening? His age may also bring into question whether he has the heart and stamina at 64 to accomplish what a 32 year old did in 1960.

From the same article

...He must breathe oxygen for two hours before he goes up in the balloon and the ascent takes another two-and-a-half hours...

Interesting to note that David Blaine did the same thing (breathing oxygen) prior to going underwater, during the oprah show.

Overall I think in this case if you weigh the risks (30% chance of failure) with the results (20% chance of breaking the sound barrier); the jump isn't worth it.

posted on May, 26 2008 @ 09:47 PM
The jump is worth it to him.
As a former paratroop I say, "go for it you lucky bastard".

The jump is rescheduled for tomorrow, and yes, he is expected to hit Mach 1.3.

Highest flying, highest jump, fastest freefall speed, first human to break the sound barrier without a plane. 4 world records in one jump!

Wild horses couldn't hold him back.

Best of luck tomorrow Michel!!!

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 03:14 AM
Does anyone here know who are the sponsors for the $12 million? In an interview on French TV, about a month ago, he mentioned experimenting a new emergency systems for high altitude flights and rocket launches. As a retired army pilot and parachutist I guess he didn't have too much trouble convincing CNES or the French army to participate financially and materially.

I see his website is updated very often. Almost live coverage there. Wow he's wearing a green spacesuit!

Best of luck to him.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 08:55 AM
I think he will be writing some checks back to his sponsors - his balloon left without him. Poor guy...

(CNN) -- French skydiver Michel Fournier's bid for a record-breaking parachute jump from Earth's stratosphere was aborted Tuesday when the balloon that was to carry him into the far reaches of the sky slipped away from his flight crew.


[edit on 27-5-2008 by Lost_Mind]

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:04 AM
What would happen to your body if you hit the ground at Mach 1.3?!

I do hope his parachute deploys!

Awesome acheivement if he goes ahead and does it successfully.. good luck Michel!

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:15 AM

Originally posted by fiftyfifty
What would happen to your body if you hit the ground at Mach 1.3?!

You can't get anywhere near Mach at the ground for one reason: air grows more dense as you approach the ground.

More dense air means:
1) The speed of sound is faster (Mach means different things at different altitudes)
2) The terminal velocity of an object decreases

The first of these effects mean that while you might hit Mach at 100k feet you would still be traveling slower than the speed of sound if you were still on the ground. While the second rule means that the jumper will actually decelerate as he approaches the ground.


posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:17 AM
Oh ok.. this is why I do electrics and not aeronautics lol. Thanks for clearing that up
... he would still be hitting the ground at some speed though.. i wouldn't like to be clearing that up!

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:38 AM
Uh Oh.. looks like he won't be coming down at any speed.. he didn't manage to get up there in the first place..

'Skydiving attempt floats away'

Poor chap.

[edit on 27-5-2008 by fiftyfifty]

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:53 AM
While this would have been very cool to see happen, now that the balloon is gone I wonder how many reports of UFO's are going to come from this.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:59 AM
reply to post by Vasa Croe

It was retrieved 40 km away from the launch area. Hopefully not damaged.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:15 AM

Originally posted by fiftyfifty
he would still be hitting the ground at some speed though.. i wouldn't like to be clearing that up!

With no deployment, he would impact the ground at somewhere between 110 and 180 mph depending on his body position, (though the weight of his extra gear may fudge these numbers just a bit).

In non technical terms, we generally call this "bouncing".

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 01:48 PM
Here is a video clip of the balloon getting away. Luckily it was only the balloon itself which went awol and not the entire platform.

Video Link

posted on May, 28 2008 @ 04:34 PM
I just watched the videos. The electric command to cut the canopy from the balloon was triggered by accident. Next try in august 2008.

posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 11:31 PM
What about a hop & pop from 130,000ft

That's one hell of a canopy ride!

posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 12:13 AM
For those of you interested its back on in 75 days..

Lets hope he can keep his balloon in check.. I mean lucky for him the last time the balloon came untethered on the ground would not want that happening at 60,000ft..

Here's is his website and I really like the part at the donations section at the bottom of the first page it reads: I Michel have reserved 2 new balloons for the next attempt..

Well you would hope so..!!

Another guy trying to break the record is Steve Truglia but I think this was another failed attempt in 2008..

Good luck to both of them if they eventually get of the ground..!!!

[edit on 3/10/2009 by nosmokinggun]

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