A person freefalling from 120,000 feet would theoretically reach a supersonic speed of over 700mph. Two daredevils of the skies are racing to break the sound barrier – and face unknown hazards in their attempt. They are Felix Baumgartner (is an extreme sportsman from Austria) and Michel Fournier ( a former paratrooper from France) who both want to break Joe Kittinger record…
Baumgartner or Fournier will be exposed to the combination of a freezing cold atmosphere and the sun’s unfiltered rays. Other risks include hypoxia (a lack of oxygen), decompression sickness, even hallucinations – all before leaving the capsule. Any breakage or failure of equipment at this point would be catastrophic; were the suit to lose its pressurisation, for example, it would trigger a process called vaporisation whereupon the blood, in the vacuum of near-space, boils inside the body.
Do not miss the whole story:
** Skydiving from the edge of space: can a human break the sound barrier?
Tom Lamont / The Observer / 5 september 2010
** The Red Bull Stratos Proyect
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