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Space Balls

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posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 07:50 PM
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Thought I'd share an amazing story of an incredible man.

Joseph Kittinger, Jr. is best known for his high-altitude balloon flights and parachute jumps that he made while heading the U.S. Air Force's "Project Excelsior" in the 1950s.

The project's goal was to solve the problems of high-altitude bailout.

It used a high-altitude balloon with an open gondola to travel to the edge of space, with the pilot parachuting from the gondola to the ground.

On August 16, 1960 Kittinger climbed to 102,800 feet (31,333 meters) using the Excelsior III gondola.

He proceeded to jump out of the craft and freefell at speeds up to 614 miles per hour, approaching the speed of sound, experiencing temperatures as low as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 degrees Celsius).

He was in freefall for 4.5 minutes before he opened his parachute at 18,000 feet (5,486 meters).

Among many other fascinating achievements, Kittinger also participated in "Project Stargazer," a balloon astronomy experiment in December 1962, along with astronomer William C. White.

The two men rose to an altitude of 82,200 feet (25,055 meters) in a balloon over Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and hovered for 18.5 hours to check variations in the brightness of star images caused by the atmosphere.


The USAF and NASA owe much of their success to the R&D done thru Kittinger's missions.





related article

This topic was sort of mentioned here by Russian

USAF Museum


Imagine freefalling from space


would you of had the guts ??




posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 08:06 PM
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Imagine freefalling from space

wouldn't work. The re-entry heat would melt you into plasma. Sufficient sheilding would be prohibitively bulky.



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 08:15 PM
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that's amazing. i wonder how many g's he sustained when he opened his chute. he wasn't really at the edge of space though, he was only about 20 miles up!


anyway, is this man still alive today?



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
that's amazing. i wonder how many g's he sustained when he opened his chute. he wasn't really at the edge of space though, he was only about 20 miles up!


anyway, is this man still alive today?


He's apparently still alive according to this article wrtten in 03'

2003 Article - Kittinger 75 years old

this is just awesome - click here



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 12:08 AM
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I would like to meet this guy and see how he felt about falling from such high distances. Does anyone know where Kittinger, Jr. lives by any chance? As for free falling from space if there was enough sheilding I would do it most definatley. Hoping not to be melted into plasma though.

[edit on 8-7-2004 by Amxkool]


XL5

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 12:13 AM
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WOW, is that above the ozone layer? He must have gotten alot of danger pay for that one. I'd do it if I had cancer or was going to die.


d1k

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 12:14 AM
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Space Balls. Best movie ever made by far!



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 12:16 AM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
that's amazing. i wonder how many g's he sustained when he opened his chute. he wasn't really at the edge of space though, he was only about 20 miles up!


anyway, is this man still alive today?
I believe he opened a chute in the shape of a funnel that slowed him down to begin with , and then as the atmosphere became thicker and slowed him furthur he was able to negotiate things at a reasonable speed .

So no kneck breaking shock of chute deployment .

Two teams are trying to bring the mark up to 160,00 feet , but are selective of their timing due to weather and jet stream concerns .

He did not break the sound barrier due to the lack of atmosphere , but these new daredevils will , a major concern.... www.npr.org...

[edit on 8-7-2004 by oddtodd]



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 08:27 AM
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Breaking the sound barrier would be very interesting. I guess the biggest thing would to not stick your arms out because the would get torn off by the shock wave (much like early sound-barrier breaking planes). I wonder if their necks will be strong enough to sustain the load? And all of this is kind of hard to test without dropping a real person or a highly realistic dummy.... Helmet shape will be critical. And I imagine they will have several chutes that open in series



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by oddtodd
I believe he opened a chute in the shape of a funnel that slowed him down to begin with , and then as the atmosphere became thicker and slowed him furthur he was able to negotiate things at a reasonable speed .


thanks. i never even thought of anything like that. i was just thinking along the lines of when people jump from b-52s they experience enough g's to shrink them about 6 inches. of course, that's a lot more accelleration than this guy had undergone.


E_T

posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
that's amazing. i wonder how many g's he sustained when he opened his chute.

Not more than you would experience when jumping from seven kilometers.
Human's "maximum free fall speed" in atmosphere is limited.

Those speeds near Mach 1 must have been possible because air is thinner at 20 km. (and drag decreases speed gradually when atmosphere's density grows whe ncoming down)



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 09:07 AM
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I saw a docu on this on National Geographic channel a few years back about this.

The footage they had of the jumps and him in his incredible freefalls were amazing.

They went into the details of the suit worn by him too. Had to withstand those speeds he fell at and protect him from the incredible low temperatures he had to face.

This guy has balls, to say the least. One of those pioneers almost noone knows.



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 01:32 PM
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I saw a documentary on him, just a day or so ago.
I remember something about a glove, it had a small leak
But he was afraid to tell anyone, for fear it would cancel the jump.

He also remarked on the "thinness" of the air. Nothing flapping around on
the suit, no noise...At least for a while, then of course, WHAT A DRAG..



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 01:43 PM
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I've been reading up on the more recent attempts that have been continually delayed .

One of the major concerns is breking the sound barrier threshold (wich is much higher in a thinner atmosphere ) and also what will happen when the daredevil will encounter when passing thru different jet streams .

Jet streams move in seperate directions at high speeds , and I wonder if the transition could effectively "tear" a person apart .

This doed not sound like a good move IMO until something had been dropped to measure the " shear " forces that will be encountered .

I don't think high altitude bailouts are a reasonable safety precaution for disaster survival , but it would be cool to see a new record being set , and find out the effects on the body just in case .



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt


I saw a documentary on him, just a day or so ago.
I remember something about a glove, it had a small leak
But he was afraid to tell anyone, for fear it would cancel the jump.


He began experiencing severe pain in his right hand caused by a failure in his pressure glove and could have scrubbed the mission.

From some info I have read, the mission directors wanted to stop the mission but the gondola had travelled too high that Rittinger decided to go ahead with it.

His hand apparently had swollen to twice it's size!!!

to give you an idea of what he went thru, check this out:
Play Skydive from the Stratosphere (145k)



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by quadricle
to give you an idea of what he went thru, check this out:
Play Skydive from the Stratosphere (145k)


that really is awesome. the first time i did it i spun out of control and died... the little splat is great when you hit the ground.



posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 08:26 AM
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