Supersonic skydiver fell faster than thought
The Austrian parachutist known as "Fearless Felix" reached 843.6 mph, according to official numbers released Monday. That's equivalent to Mach 1.25, or 1.25 times the speed of sound, which is 761 miles per hour.
His top speed initially was estimated at 10 mph slower at 834 mph, or Mach 1.24.
Either way, he became the first human to break the sound barrier with only his body. He wore a pressurized suit and hopped from a capsule hoisted by a giant helium balloon over New Mexico.
Baumgartner was supersonic for a half-minute — "quite remarkable," according to Brian Utley, the record-keeping official who was present for the Oct. 14 feat.
The 43-year-old's heart rate remained below 185 beats a minute, and his breathing was fairly steady.
The leap was from an altitude of 127,852 feet (24.21 miles). That's 248 feet lower than original estimates, but still stratospheric.
Critical thinking challenge: Other than jumping from space, how could you go faster than the speed of sound?
Define these words: hoisted, stratospheric
- Posted on February 4, 2013