Surprise! Felix Baumgartner’s free fall record has been broken by Google executive Alan Eustace. An altitude of 135,890 feet was submitted for the record, and his peak speed was 822 mph — with a small sonic boom. That’s slower than Felix’s 843.6 mph, probably because Felix’s suit was minimal by comparison, without the clunky life support unit.
Another amazing feat. The video, however, is shockingly lame. No shot of the cutaway, no shot from the balloon as he drops, just 15 seconds of one angle on his helmet during the free fall. Whoever “Atomic Entertainment” is, they blew it in terms of PR for the event and themselves. I’m sure there will be some longer version soonish, but I would never have released this.
On the other hand, the ascent tech is very cool. No capsule — just a rig that’s attached to a custom space suit. Apparently, they spent a lot less money than the Red Bull team, with no corporate sponsors.
He spent 30 minutes hanging at the edge of space, just to enjoy the view. I can imagine the ride up… Facing down, watching the Earth drop away. That must have been incredible.
Even though the video’s lame, it’s better than nothing — plus, there are a few behind-the-scenes stills: