Is Redbull Stratos feasible?

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Offline Spannerman

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Is Redbull Stratos feasible?
« on: 16/02/2010 16:54:05 »
World reknowned base jumper and extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner will attempt a project called Redbull Stratos later this year. If you have not heard about this you can read more here http://www.redbullstratos.com/.
Basically Felix will take a helium balloon up to 35km altitude, this is in the stratosphere, it is here that Felix accompanied with a space suit will sky dive. He hopes to break the sound barrier during his +- 5min 30sec freefall.

Is this at all possible? I know that he will be able to survive at the altitude but how will terminal velocity allow him to reach mach 1. He plans on doing this as a freefall so he will not be projected, please explain how he will reach the speed.

Also;

Shouldn't the sonic boom cause him to become unstable?

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Offline Spannerman

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Is Redbull Stratos feasible?
« Reply #1 on: 24/02/2010 18:04:13 »
Okay so it is feasible, I calculated that he can reach a maximum speed (excluding air friction) of 828.3 m.s^-1
Does anybody know how to calculate the air friction/ resistance?
So if he does reach this speed does anybody know how he is going to stop?

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Offline Bored chemist

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Is Redbull Stratos feasible?
« Reply #2 on: 24/02/2010 19:53:11 »
"So if he does reach this speed does anybody know how he is going to stop?"
Well, I imagine he has a parachute.
If not then the ground will do the job. If he gets the aim right he would also save the cost of a burial too.
It's difficult to calculate the effect of air resistance, but one thing to note is that there's not a lot of air up there to resist his fall anyway. Also that air is cold and the viscosity falls with temperature (unlike most liquids BTW)

A fair approximation can be obtained from the Stokes equation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stokes'_law
On the other hand, the last bloke
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kittinger
did all those things and this guy plans to start higher so it's all perfectly plausible.
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Offline LeeE

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Is Redbull Stratos feasible?
« Reply #3 on: 25/02/2010 12:28:35 »
Joe Kittinger parachuted (free fall most of the way, of course) from 102800 ft (31.3 km) in 1960.  However, he used a small drogue chute for stabilisation at the start of the free fall, which would have slowed him down quite a bit.  He reached a max speed of 614 mph.

Interestingly, it seems that Joe Kittinger is advising Felix Baumgartner on his attempt.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline Spannerman

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Is Redbull Stratos feasible?
« Reply #4 on: 25/02/2010 15:00:01 »
Yes I did see that he was helping Felix out, what I thought was that the parachute would not be able to with stand the drag at that speed and would surely tear apart, would it be made out of a stronger material?

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Offline neilep

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Is Redbull Stratos feasible?
« Reply #5 on: 25/02/2010 17:29:59 »
would he not deploy the parachute until he has entered the ' regular' atmosphere and then friction will slow him down naturally to regular free fall speed ?
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline LeeE

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Is Redbull Stratos feasible?
« Reply #6 on: 26/02/2010 11:46:54 »
He will probably deploy either a ballute or small drogue chute to slow himself down before deploying the main chute.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!