Friday, February 6, 2009

Space Diving

In 1960, Air Force pilot Joseph Kittinger jumped out of a balloon at 102,800 feet. He reached speeds over 700 mph, setting records for jump distance and free fall speed. Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to break the record. Now space entrepreneur Rick Tumlinson and former NASA flight surgeon Jonathan Clark are trying not just to break the record but to make space diving mainstream. They are developing a better protective suit that would allow emergency astronaut ejections and, eventually, recreational space diving. They appeared on a recent episode of the History Channel's The Universe.

Here is a visual effects piece by Kyle Botha showing what space diving might look like: