Alan Eustace, a Google executive sets the world record for the highest -altitude jump this Friday. He jumped successfully from near the top of the stratosphere — some 135,000 feet, or 41,000 meters high, his project website said.
Alan Eustace, 57, senior vice president of knowledge at Google rose above Roswell, New Mexico for about two hours using a balloon filled with 35,000 cubic feet of helium, The New York Times reported.
Paragon Development Corporation stated, Eustace hung below the balloon wearing a spacesuit along with the life-support system and the GoPro cameras. After reaching 135,908 feet, Eustace cut the cord and began a 15-min fall that reportedly hit peak speeds of more than 800 miles/hour.
“Ascending at about 1,000 feet per minute, Eustace achieved his target altitude in about two and a half hours,” the statement said.
“He spent a short time, around a half hour, experiencing the wonders of the stratosphere before being released from the balloon. In rapid free fall, Eustace experienced a short period of near weightlessness and within 90 seconds exceeded the speed of sound.”
Certainly, the free-fall of Eustace into the atmosphere lasted about 5 minutes, and he deployed his parachute at around 18,000 feet “and floated gently to the ground,” the statement said.
The recovery systems for the project were produced by Paragon, designed by the engineering firm ILC Dover with assistance from several other consultants and companies.
The recovery system has wide-ranging applications for the study of the science of the stratosphere, which includes the “development of means for spaceship crew egress, the study of dynamics of bodies at Mach 1, new high altitude aircraft suits, and setting of records for space diving, sailplaning and ballooning,” Paragon stated.
Humans cannot survive at that altitude without special equipment, according to Paragon, which says that “besides being unable to breath, exposure to the vacuum of space will cause fluids in the body to boil.”
This space suit was similar to those used for the Apollo missions and on the International Space Station, the company revealed.
Eustace told the NYT, “It was a wild, wild ride. I hugged on to the equipment module and tucked my legs and I held my heading.”
The previous record was set by Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner in October 2012 by jumping off 128,100 feet using a sophisticated capsule and was backed by millions of dollars in sponsorship money. However, Eustace avoided taking support from Google because he didn’t want the jump to become a marketing event.