Used a finite difference method to solve:

with these values:

Air density = 1.2kg/m

^{3}e

^{-0.14 h(km)} (approx. fit, h is height in km)

C

_{D} = 1.2 (drag coefficient for sky jumper)

A = 1.1 m

^{2} (cross section area, a guess)

*m* = 136kg (mass, a guess, man plus suit)

*g* = 9.8m/s

^{2} (assume independent of height)

The orange points are taken from the estimated speed in Mr. Baumgartner’s jump video (the agreement is so good my wife suggested this is how they came by the estimated speed):

Need a little more velocity to reach the reported max speed of 1342km/h at 42 seconds, so tuck your arms (reduce area to 0.94m

^{2}) and be more like a cylinder (C

_{D} = 0.9):

Max speed in this calculation is about 10 seconds later than the measured value.

So, how high, how fast? How about 80km starting height:

Top speed in this freefall calculation is about 3000km/hour (1875mph), max deceleration is about 2 times g. Heat, I do not know how to calculate this, a few web sites report the SR71 went this fast through similar density air and max temp at the tip was about 340

^{o} C, polyimide (Kapton) can survive this. So, a pressure suit like Baumgartner’s with an additional layer of insulation and an outer layer of polyimide fabric (or whatever the IRVE-3 is made of). Keep in mind we are talking 10’s of seconds.

Balloons won’t reach this altitude so you need to use a modified sounding rocket as the 10-16 g’s of typical sounding rockets is a bit much. Or maybe skydiving from SpaceShipTwo will become a rich person’s hobby?

Another concern would be stability as both Baumgartner and Kittinger experienced spin control issues but somehow figured out how to stabilize the fall. Pretty amazing.

Is it possible? Enjoy, I had a lot of fun playing with these numbers.

(As always, this material is provided for entertainment purposes only. Not checked for errors or omissions. Godspeed!).

references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_fallhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_coefficient