Free Falling – World’s Highest Parachute Jump
Saturday, March 11, 11:00 am
Presentation by Alan Eustace
Event included with Museum admission.
In 2011, Alan Eustace decided to pursue a stratosphere parachute jump. Over the next three years, the test program included 5 airplane jumps from 18,000 feet, and 3 balloon jumps, from 57,000, 105,000 and 135,890 feet, setting 3 skydiving world records, including the highest exit altitude.
On October 24, 2014, Eustace made a jump from the stratosphere, breaking Felix Baumgartner’s 2012 world record. The launch-point for his jump was from an abandoned runway in Roswell, New Mexico, where he began his gas balloon-powered ascent early that morning. The balloon used for the feat was manufactured by the Balloon Facility of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad, India. Eustace in his pressure suit hung tethered under the balloon, without the kind of capsule used by Felix Baumgartner.
His descent to Earth lasted 15 minutes and stretched nearly 26 miles with peak speeds exceeding 821.45 miles per hour, setting new world records for the highest free-fall jump, and total free-fall distance 123,334 feet.
Alan’s talk summarizes solutions to critical issues like redundancy, emergency aborts, CO2, fogging, spins, drogue deployment, and balloon launches, along with photos and videos of the key milestones.