Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Impressive: 23 Miles in 2012 or 20 Miles in 1960?

Today I found this fun little article about Felix Baumgartner's preparations for an attempt to break the record for highest and fastest skydive. He just jumped from 13 miles up. Instead of leaving it to me to describe how epic that is Red Bull has provided the world with this handy image:
Surprisingly, that's not the most impressive part of the article. Near the end you find out he's trying to jump from 23 miles above Earth, to break Joseph Kittinger's record of 20 miles up set in 1960. Yes, 1960. In the last 52 years we haven't gotten around to jumping from 3 miles higher? Shouldn't we at least be putting the finishing touches on that Space Elevator by now?

The true moral of the story is that you should check out Joseph Kittinger's Wikipedia page. He's a legend around Central Florida as he's from here and holds the records for having the highest, fastest and longest skydive, was the first person to make a solo crossing over the Atlantic in a gas balloon, and spend 11 months in a North Vietnamese POW camp.