I guess this question boils down to “is it possible to bail out safely from the highest point of suborbital space flight”.
This is something I’ve always wondered about. We all know that spacecraft have to deal with a great deal of heat due to entering the atmosphere at a very high speed. Upon considering the situation I’m led to understand that most of this speed comes in fact from orbital speed… the energy transformed to re-entry heat is in effect a dumping of the energy added by the engines during the initial boost phase. OK so far? I’m not a rocket scientist.
So my question then becomes… let’s say you take orbital speed out of the equation. Let’s say you put a spaceman with a parachute at the “space boundary” which is arbitrarily accepted at 60 miles. No orbital speed… he just magically appears there as if Zeus had hand-placed him there. He begins to fall, a result one would expect from the influence of Earth’s gravity. Assuming his suit is adequately pressurized and supplied with breathable air, will he experience fatal re-entry heat? Will he be able to deploy his 'chute at any point without being fatally injured by the opening shock?