October 15, 2012

"That spin became so violent it was hard to know how to get out of it."

"I was able to get it under control and break the speed of sound. I could feel myself break the speed of sound. I could feel the air building up and then I hit it."

(At the link, new video, from Baumgartner's point of view while falling and spinning.)

46 comments:

TWM said...

While watching it, one of the things I noted was how casual the radio conversation appeared compared to a NASA mission. I'm not saying it was bad, just that for a few seconds here and there I wasn't sure ground control was really on top of things.

PatCA said...

I read the headline and thought it was going to be a story about Obama's people defending his handling of Benghazi. :)

Mitchell said...

I wonder if Felix Baumgartner did a sonic boom in his pants.

Icepick said...

I wonder if Felix Baumgartner did a sonic boom in his pants.

Only his laundromat knows for sure!

...

I happened to sit down in front of the computer for lunch yesterday just a few minutes before the run-down for the final checklist. What luck! What a thrill for us viewers! If Baumgartner DID have a sonic boom in his pants he certainly earned the right!

Nomennovum said...

"Felix Baumgartner is the pride of the Austrian speaking world." - Barack Hussein Obama

"Baumgartner??? Oh, great. Now the Jews are swooping down at us at Mach 1.25!" - Cedarford

edutcher said...

If you ever watched any of the documentaries on free fall parachuting, you know how good/lucky he had to be to get through it.

AprilApple said...

"The spin became so violent it was hard to know how to get out of it"

At first I thought you must be talking about some poor lackey who works for Chris Matthews at MSNBC.



Inga said...

Austrians rock.

MadisonMan said...

You mean you're not pre-emptively talking about the post-debate discussion?

phx said...
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gerry said...
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Michael K said...

Joe Kittinger, the first guy to do this in 1960, was the ground control speaker.

gerry said...

I watched all of it, luckily happening upon a link somewhere. It was really cool, and I felt like a kid again, watching a Mercury liftoff.

clint said...

" PatCA said...

I read the headline and thought it was going to be a story about Obama's people defending his handling of Benghazi. :)"

Beat me to it!

Curious George said...
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garage mahal said...

When the footage showed Baumgartner's body spinning and tumbling I was second guessing my decision to watch it with my daughter. Thought the guy was already dead at the point. I wondered if Discovery would have shown his body hitting the earth at Mach 1?

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
I wondered if Discovery would have shown his body hitting the earth at Mach 1?"

He wouldn't be going that fast because the denser atmosphere at lower altitude would slow him down. Plus i think they had an auto safety back-up.

chrisnavin.com said...

What's good to see is that there are guys out there willing to take risks, use their skills, and be intelligent about the risks they take and break new ground. If they can get aligned with a group of engineers, a design team etc. folks who know about space flight and corporate sponsorship they can make it as legit as possible, and leave something behind.

There were considerable risks involved here and the meeting of extreme sports, the right guy for the job, and sound engineering is worthy of note.

New frontiers. Onward, upward.

***Our solar system is becoming like what a new continent used to be, or even a few valleys over was in the tribal days.

MB said...

"That spin became so violent it was hard to know how to get out of it."

Is this about the stratospheric sky dive of a comment about The Obama Administration's explanation about Libya?

Carnifex said...

I saw the spin live, and I was remembering your post earlier about eyeballs flying outta his head, and limbs being ripped off...maybe next time.

whswhs said...

That's a great title quotation, but my first thought was not of the guy diving from the stratosphere, but of the Obama campaign. . . .

Carnifex said...

And everyone lived happily ever after.



Until the capsule came down and crushed little Alice Stern's cat "mittens"...in front of her...and her entire first grade classmates.




Splat!

Lem said...

"That spin became so violent it was hard to know how to get out of it."

Joe Biden.

Curious George said...

"I was able to get it under control and break the speed of sound. I could feel myself break the speed of sound. I could feel the air building up and then I hit it."

Apparently the part in bold is incorrect. He felt nothing. Somehow it got added to the press release.

Mike and Sue said...

That was very interesting. It really harkened back to the age of giants like Chuck Yeager. Enjoyed it. When Western man was unabashed and fearless.

Now we have obomaphones though.

Calypso Facto said...

Apparently the part in bold is incorrect. He felt nothing. Somehow it got added to the press release.

Wondered about that. There'd be virtually no air or air resistance at the altitude he was then at, right? Certainly didn't see any kind of shock in the video.

rhhardin said...

I don't see what causes the spin without at the same time giving you the ability to control it.

Unless it's a supersonic thing, where the air behavior is fairly unintuitive, like it seems to prefer expanding to slowing down, as in rocket nozzles, which go supersonic at the choke point.

Larry J said...

It seems likely the spin happened about the time he went transonic (roughly Mach 0.8). That's when airflow over parts of his body were supersonic while still being subsonic over other parts. Those could cause unbalanced forces at a time when the air was too thin for his movements to have much effect. Kittenger himself experienced out of control spinning on one of his jumps. A chute automatically deployed and saved his life.

virgil xenophon said...

Guy's balls are so big he has to cart 'em around in a wheel-barrow...Not THIS little Indian..

exiledonmainst said...

Simply incredible. I couldn't bring myself to watch it at the time because, like Althouse, I didn't want to see a man die before my eyes. It's a stunning achievement.

Aridog said...

Thanks for the post. I watched it live and was sure I saw a high speed flat spin for a bit ... made my throat tighten ... then he managed to stop it and go near vertical again. I was unsure how the 4 chutes he wore would have reacted to a lower altitude flat spin.

PatCA said...



clint,


I guess we're all "politicizing" this!

EDH said...

Watching, I thought he was able to control the spin as the atmosphere increased in density, when he had some resistance/friction to maneuver against. Seems to be backed-up in this NYT article.

That proved unnecessary, but a new crisis occurred early in the jump when he began spinning out of control in the thin air of the stratosphere — the same problem that had nearly killed Mr. Kittinger a half-century earlier. But as the atmosphere thickened, Mr. Baumgartner managed to stop the spin and fall smoothly until he opened his parachute about a mile above the ground and landed smoothly in the New Mexico desert.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/us/felix-baumgartner-skydiving.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Methadras said...

This is directly in the face of Urkel and Warren's you didn't build that bullshit. Fuck them both.

Carnifex said...

@Virgil Xenophon

Are you claiming relations with Elizabeth Warren?

Valentine Smith said...

You have to have resistance to correct the pinwheel.

Guy had more electronics and equipment than the Mercury astronauts.

It appears he allowed Kittinger's freefall record stand. If so, good on him, real good.

Valentine Smith said...
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Carnifex said...

I might have a touch of vertigo because I've always had nightmares about falling. I wouldn't have been able to ride that damn little box that high let alone jump out of it.

I'll stick to scuba diving and eating.

EMD said...

Off topic: Obama has weighed in on the pressing Mariah Carey/Nicki Minaj American Idol dispute.

And you dare call him an empty suit!



rhhardin said...

You have to have resistance to correct the pinwheel.

The problem with the explanation is that the same resistance is needed for the asymmetric impulse to cause a spin in the first place.

Space-walking astronauts don't spin.

P-38's used to dive uncontrollably when they went supersonic, until somebody discovered that commanding nose down caused the nose to rise, suggesting that it's more a matter of using the correct corrective action for the speed you're going.

Larry J said...

Guy had more electronics and equipment than the Mercury astronauts.

That isn't saying much. The Mercury capsule didn't even have a computer. Probably the most sophisticated electonics in a Mercury capsule was the radio. If you ever get a chance to see one of them, you'll likely be amazed how small and simple it was. Here's a link to a bunch of Mercury photos and diagrams.

Lynn Meadows said...

wow. i read the thread title and thought immediately about Karl Rove - but seriously folks ---

I have to hand it to him for figuring all that stuff out and pulling it off. Not sure what anyone really learned other than I'm not getting in line for that ride. Not no way, not no how.

David said...

Spin. It's everywhere.

JAL said...

Hi Lynn

Not sure what anyone really learned other than I'm not getting in line for that ride.

One of the articles I read said they would be using the data they gathered and the technology (the space suit design, for example) for the benefit of future astronauts and possible rescue / escape scenarios.

rhhardin said...

It doesn't apply to astronauts. Their problem is speed, not height.

There's no way to dissipate their energy short of a heat shield.

beast said...

Odysseus's children are still around.