At the edge of space: Felix Baumgartner’s freefall

Later this year, Austrian Felix Baumgartner will go one further than his colleague Joseph Kittinger by performing the highest, fastest and longest freefall from the edge of space. Kittinger, who was captured and held prisoner for 11 months during the Vietnam conflict, is assisting in the project.

All of which gives me the opportunity to show The Board of Canada’s excellent video for their track Dayvan Cowboy, the first part of which shows Kittinger in freefall (Kittinger’s video can be found here).

Kittinger describes feeling as if he were stationary during the first part of his fall, as if he were floating in space, since there were few visual clues to remind him he was falling and his suit didn’t ripple with air resistance. In fact, he was falling at a rate approaching the speed of sound, a speed Baumgartner intends to break.

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