Over 8 Million Tune In To YouTube For Red Bull Stratos Space Jump.

Social media sites have been flooded with people commenting on Felix Baumgartner’s astonishing Red Bull Stratos space jump with over 8 million of those tuning into YouTube to witness this spectacular event.

The “edge of space” jump broke numerous records including the viewing figure record for the “live stream with the most concurrent views ever on YouTube,” the highest jump from a platform (128,100 feet), the maximum vertical velocity (833.9 mph or Mach 1.24) and the longest distance freefell (119,846 feet) previously held by Joseph Kittinger’s free-fall jump of 102,800 feet set in 1960. In breaking the maximum vertical velocity record the Austrian diver became the first person ever to break the sound barrier (over 690 miles per hour) outside of an aircraft.

According to one online agency the previous YouTube viewing record was set during the London Summer Olympic Games, when approximately 500,000 people concurrently tuned in to live video feeds.

This spectacular stunt involved Baumgartner ascending 120,000 feet in a pressure suit to the edge of space near the upper-middle section of the Earth’s stratosphere (to put that in perspective: Mount Everest is approximately 29,029 feet or 5.5 miles tall), leaping from a specially designed platform/capsule and freefalling to earth with a parachute.

The Stratosphere, directly above the Troposphere and bellow the Mesosphere, is the second major layer of the Earth’s atmosphere beginning approximately six miles above the planet and extending to a height of around thirty miles. The Stratosphere (the milky white and grey areas between the orange and royal blue colours) can be seen in the picture below.

The 43yr old diver was originally scheduled to jump from the helium balloon 23 miles above the Earth on Monday but due to poor weather conditions both that and the following attempt on Tuesday had to be aborted.

The suit worn by Baumgartner is an amazing piece of technology consisting of…

  • A basic, innermost layer.
  • A rubbery membrane layer with welded seams to contain any pressurized gases inside the suit.
  • A crocheted net layer.
  • An outermost textile layer with flame-retardant thermal isolation.

The suit is obviously the most important piece of equipment for the dive maintaining pressure while simultaneously removing moisture from the inside. A small control valve on the outside automatically maintains the pressure environment of the suit so that any moisture accumulated is retained on the outside thus keeping Baumgartner dry and reducing the “trapped in a plastic bag” feeling. The suit is also custom tailored to Baumgartner’s body to ensure no baggy material gets caught in a gust of wind.

Art Thompson, Technical director for the Red Bull Stratos Mission quotes…

“At that altitude, if the suit were to tear open (by any means) you’d start bleeding from the mouth,” with that cold exposure, minus 60 degrees, your saliva starts to freeze up, you start oozing fluids from your eyes. The level of horror is straight out of a science fiction movie.”

Baumgartner quotes….

“Space, for man, starts at about 62,000 feet. That’s where the blood starts to boil, the air is so thin at that altitude that water vapour bubbles begin to form in the body’s fluids — a process called ebullism.”

Were you one of the 8 million people that tuned in to see this live event? If so please leave your comments in the box below…


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