Jump From the Edge of Space

Felix Baumgartner made history today, jumping from about 128,000 feet, an altitude of over 24 miles.  Preliminary estimates indicate that he resoundingly broke the speed of sound in air barrier, traveling at a maximum speed of Mach 1.24, or 834 mph.  Keep in mind that the speed of sound in air number he needed to exceed is a function of the temperature and density of the  thin atmosphere he was travelling through.  The speed of sound in air at the Earth’s surface is about 768 mph.

It was a great deal of fun and somewhat nerve wracking as I, and upwards of 7.3 million other viewers on various livestreams, watched his descent, in optical and infrared frequencies.

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Author: Bob Mahoney

Physics teacher

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