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'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner lands highest ever jump

RATE THIS! +4
Posted in Science on 14th Oct, 2012 10:45 PM by AlexMuller

The 43-year-old was hoping also to break the sound barrier during his descent - although that mark awaits confirmation. Video cameras relayed the moment Baumgartner stepped from his balloon capsule to begin his fall to Earth.

 

It took just under 10 minutes for him to reach the desert surface below. Only the last few thousand feet were negotiated by parachute. Once down, he fell to his knees and raised his fists in triumph. Helicopter recovery teams were on hand moments later.

 

None of the new marks set by Baumgartner can be classed as "official" until endorsed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). Its representative was the first to greet the skydiver on the ground. GPS data recorded on to a microcard in the Austrian's chest pack will form the basis for any height and speed claims that are made.

 

Unofficially, the Austrian jumped from 128,097ft (24.2 miles; 39km). He fell for four minutes and 19 seconds, reaching a speed of 706mph (1,137km/h). These figures will undoubtedly change slightly once the chest pack information has been properly assessed. There was concern early in the dive that he was in trouble. Baumgartner was supposed to get himself into a delta position - head down, arms back - as soon as possible after leaving his capsule. But the video showed him tumbling over and over.

 

Eventually, however, he was able to use his great experience, from more than 2,500 career skydives, to correct his fall and get into a stable configuration.



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