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This Looks Like Fun May 17, 2008

Posted by Thomas Olson in rocketplane.
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I have to admit this battle-hardened Cynic’s heart soared right along with Yves Rossy, as he, like Daedalus, strapped on a pair of custom, homebuilt wings and flew above the Alps:

http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/05/swiss-man-strap.html

It took years of risky trial and error to achieve. There was no profit in it, neither for him nor the corporate sponsors who’ve spent over $190k so far on this. There is no plan to market the wings. They did it just to show it was possible – for the sheer joy of personal human flight.

And sometimes…we need to do such things, simply to remind ourselves what fundamentally powerful creatures we humans truly are.

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Comments»

1. Carnival of Space #55 « Catholic Sensibility - May 22, 2008

[…] might get you a good deal on a home these days. It will also net a nifty flight of fancy, and coming from a Space Cynic, that’s saying […]

2. Chiya - May 26, 2008

I’m not sure if I’m using the right use of the word, but I’d call this “indie”. And it does look like fun (although I wouldn’t do it). And I like that they did it just for personal flight and not to make a profit. It’s shiny.

3. Eric Haynes - May 26, 2008

A great achievement. Talk about a dream come true, and daring too!

This looks like fun part 2: I think another guy this week is going to jump from the EDGE OF SPACE from a balloon back to the EARTH. If successful, he’ll smash a record that’s lasted almost 50 years!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080526/od_afp/canadafrancespaceparachute_080526091142

Who knows, if we get lucky maybe a private space company will make a successful first launch w/payload next month!

I think things are really starting to change for the better in the space community!

EH

4. Eric Haynes - May 27, 2008

Talk about making your dreams come true, this guy did it!

This looks like fun Part 2: This week Michael Fourier plans to break FOUR world records by jumping out of a true Space Age gondola 25 miles above earth!

http://www.space.com/news/060713_big_jump.html

5. Thomas Olson - June 3, 2008

His only problem with that is the laws of high-altitude physics. To set a record, you have to be at an altitude that requires the use of a drogue ‘chute for stability, else you go into an uncontrollable spin and die. Unfortunately, if you use the drogue ‘chute, the international committee will disallow the record, as drogues are not acceptable (to them, that’s not true “free fall”).

So he’s caught in a Catch-22. Set an “unofficial” record and live, or set an “official” one and die. Last I heard, his balloon detached itself the other day before he even had a chance to set foot in the gondola. Perhaps the universe is trying to tell him something.

6. Alfred Differ - June 7, 2008

Ferocious spin rates. Suicide.

I wonder, though, if you can jump out with an an anvil that out-weighs you. In that configuration, you become the drogue. That wouldn’t necessarily stop the flat spin, but drogues don’t do much in that department either.

I can just imagine the cartoons people would draw, though. Maybe a spare tire would be better than an anvil for that. 8)


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