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Author Topic: Joseph Kittinger: Breaking the Sound Barrier Without an Aircraft
Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted February 03, 2008 08:21      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I thought this was neat-o...

On Aug. 16, 1960, as research for the then-fledgling U.S. space program, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger rode a helium balloon to the edge of space, 102,800 feet above the earth, a feat in itself. Then, wearing just a thin pressure suit and breathing supplemental oxygen, he leaned over the cramped confines of his gondola and jumped--into the 110-degree-below-zero, near-vacuum of space. Within seconds his body accelerated to 714mph in the thin air, breaking the sound barrier.

Full story:
http://www.forbes.com/global/2003/1208/060.html

and a more complete bio and history:
http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Explorers_Record_Setters_and_Daredevils/Kittinger/EX31.htm

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Posts: 8111 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2008 09:08      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow. I would've been so freaking scared to do something like that! He's a brave man. [thumbsup]

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2008 11:49      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____________________ I remember reading about the event in one of those popular mechanics type magazines. If my memory serves me had he not been in a pressureized suit his own body tempature would have made his blood boil. I believe that there were really two tests, one of the suit and would it protect a person from the pressures (or lack there of) of space and if a helium lifted gondola would go that high.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2008 12:47      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I saw a documentary on this a while back.

*Very* gutsy effort.

It's a shame the doco spoiled the effect by repeatedly claiming he was "the first man in space". If you can get there in a balloon, it's not space.

btw - there was an article (on /. ?) a while back about some people working on emergency procedures for the space shuttle. What do you do if the shuttle suffers damage that makes a re-entry impossible, and you can't get a rescue ship there in time?

They worked out that if you get the angles _just_right_, an astronaut with a space-suit and parachute should be able to survive the re-entry.

Now there's an extreme sport I'd like to try!

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 05:28      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
___________________________ So TFD what is space. and where does it begin. At that time no one had been to twenty miles high, Actually nineteen plus, Then he stepped out of the gondola. At that time no one had been to space, not in aircraft, not on a rocket. Would you have been happier if he had gone up with a ballon and then used a rocket to go higher. Yes, now there are airplanes that can pass one hundred and forty thousand feet, Under your rules is that space? Did Burt Rutan and the Space craft one crew reach space?

Well according to the Ansari rules Space begins at 100Km

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3697852.stm

But there was no prise offered back in 1960 just a test to see if a space suit would offer enough protection.

The big problem with the bailout from the Space Shuttle is slowing down from orbit speed. If you are in a decaying orbit you sre still going seventeen thousand miles per hour, or about five miles per second. So a one second error in starting a de-orbit burn will result in a five mile miss and maybe put you out side the recovery area. Thats where the Space Shuttle shines as it can glide back to a landing strip.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 11:50      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
___________________________ So TFD what is space. and where does it begin.

Space: "Above the earths atmosphere".

Not a very precise definition, I know, but...

If there's enough air for a helium balloon to generate useful lift, you're still in the atmosphere.

In TFA he talks about waiting for the wind to carry him over the target area before stepping out. If there's 'wind', you're still in the atmosphere.

Don't get me wrong, his was a *very* gutsy effort, but calling him "the first man in space" (so you can claim Uncle Sam beat them Ruskies) is like calling the inventor of the trampoline "the first man to fly".

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 04, 2008 16:18      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
_______________________ I know I was being harsh but in 1960 if you were high enough that you could not breath or the atmosperic pressure was so low that your own blood would boil, to most people on the street you were in space.

Now we expect more.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
sconzey
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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2008 08:03      Profile for sconzey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Heh, some brits tried something similar more recently.

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"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent."
--Isaac Asimov

Posts: 490 | From: UK | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged


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