Four Minutes and 27 Seconds of Freefall Fun – Two Years after Baumgarten, a New Record!

A photograph showing Alan Eustace, one of Google Executives, preparing for his Space Jump on 24 October 2014. Source: Paragon Space Development.Falling from Outer Space

Since October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace holds the World Records for vertical speed reached during freefall with a peak velocity of 1,321 kilometres per hour (822 mph) and total freefall distance of 123,414 feet – lasting four minutes and 27 seconds.

The Google executive – a veteran pilot and parachutist – had been planning this jump for several years, working in secret with a small group of people trained in parachute and balloon technology.  He set off from an abandoned runway in Roswell, New Mexico, at 07:00 connected to a balloon module, which carried him for two hours and seven minutes to his target altitude.

In doing so, he beat the previous record holder Austrian Felix Baumgarten, whose jump from the edge of space was streamed live over the internet on 14th October 2012.

A photograph showing the StratEx team filling a high-altitude balloon to take Google executive Alan Eustace to the Stratosphere on 24 October 2014 in Roswell, New Mexico. The 57-year-old Eustace, a "senior vice president of knowledge" at Google, set a new record by jumping successfully from near the top of the stratosphere -- some 135,000 feet, or 41,000 meters high -- as part of the Stratospheric Explorer project to allow manned exploration of the stratosphere above 100,000 feet. According to a statement from the Paragon Space Development Corporation, Eustace completed the four-hour mission using a specially designed space suit and balloon module to carry him to the stratosphere. Source: AFP 2014 / Paragon Space Development Corporation$ )$
The StratEx team filling a high-altitude balloon to take Google executive Alan Eustace to the Stratosphere October 24, 2014 in Roswell, New Mexico.  According to a statement from the Paragon Space Development Corporation, Eustace completed the four-hour mission using a specially designed space suit and balloon module to carry him to the stratosphere. Source: AFP 2014 / Paragon Space Development Corporation

The 57-year-old was carried up by a large helium balloon from New Mexico to over 40km (around 25 miles) above the Earth, and dove down in a specially-designed pressurised suit, reaching speeds of more than 1,300 kilometres per hour.

Mr Eustace successfully jumped from near the top of the stratosphere at an altitude of 135,890 feet at 09:09 local time (16:00 GMT), the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) confirmed on Friday.

The freefall dive was part of a project aimed at the exploration of the stratosphere above 100,000 feet (30,480 metres).

 

A photograph showing Alan Eustace completing his record-breaking space jump.
The 57-year-old American, a “senior vice president of knowledge” at Google, set a new record by jumping successfully from near the top of the stratosphere – some 41,000 metres, or 135,000 feet – as part of the Stratospheric Explorer project to allow manned exploration of the stratosphere above 100,000 feet.

“You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.

“It was a wild, wild ride.”

Alan Eustace