I really wanted to comment on this early and did so brief on facebook. But last sunday along with at least 8 million other people (there were 3 people watch the stream I was downloading) watched a man fall from the edge of space whilst bigging up Red Bull.
I have to say I watched with great interest and found the whole programming gripping. Now whilst at the very least a man falling 130000ft is going to be gripping. I found it more so probably because I have learnt a little bit about human survival at the limit of land which towers to just above 28000ft.
We first learnt as a race about altitude by accidentally finding ourselves their. The ancient silk route travels across the himalayas and was known for inducing headaches. However only when we invented the hot air ballon were we to find out how deadly axtreme altitude could be when someone went as high as they dared and more than half the occupance perish, basically suffocating as the air was too thin.
I have already finish the chapter of my book that covers this in more detail so won’t go cover it hee but leave some stuff to surprise you if you buy the book. Essentially though if Felix’s air/oxygen supply stopped he would have been dead in minutes.
However I also suspect that at the altitude he reach the air was so thin that weird things may well have happened if his pressurised suit falled. This is because air pressure effects the boiling point of water, meaning that the water in his body, may well had boiled if his suit puntured. Any physicists out there that could confirm this theory?
Then of course as he prepare for the jump there was that moment where he stepped out on the ‘balcony’ and had to lean forward. “Item 30 parachute checked!” Then after some in comprehensible words he fell like the proverbial sack of spuds for just over 4 minutes. At first fairly out of control before thankfully he managed to regained a stable position and have the flight of his life as the world looked on.
It was disapointing that his visor steamed up as I am sure he had the height to make those final 20 seconds free fall to break that record as well. Although I doubt he’ll go back up there for a second go, and I am not sure they will be main contenders.
Gripping internet viewing and on Youtube alone he was the most watched live stream the internet has ever seen.