Well, he’ll either be a hero or a candidate for the Darwin Awards…remains to be seen. I did, however, get a good chuckle out of the link to the next story, “Calcutta to Host Carnival for 25,000 Prostitutes.”
Watch out, Joe Kittinger!
It says he plans on “breaking the sound barrier as he falls”. Isn’t this technically impossible? He should only be able to fall faster and faster until he reaches terminal velocity, which is only 200-something miles per hour, IIRC.
The “Edge of Space” is 24.62 miles up?
No, it’s possible.
Terminal velocity is not a constant. It’s dependent upon factors like air density and air resistance of the body in freefall. Air resistance is affected by body-orientation; head-first is faster than the “shuttlecock” (standard skydiving) position, and baggy clothing is slower than tight/streamlined. Terminal velocity at or near sea-level is slower than 20-30 miles up.
Someone (I think Isaac Asimov) once said, “Getting to space is amazingly expenisve considering it’s only an hour’s drive straight up.”
Personally I think if this guy tries it, he’s going to make like the Tunguska Event about halfway down.
So what’s gonna keep this guy from burning up? That’s what I wanna know!