Journey To The Edge Of Space

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

An evening pause: The 360 degree view, from a high altitude balloon.

Hat tip Edward Thelen.



  • Anthony Domanico

    I’ve been skydiving twice and I still can’t believe I actually did it. I’m afraid of heights and that video portrays the look from 14,000 feet pretty well! Wooooo

    I’ll never jump out of a functional aircraft again. The last time I had the pleasure of watching my friend’s malfunctioning ‘chute fly away like a big useless bed sheet. By this time I was out of the aircraft myself. Fortunately, his spare parachute wasn’t a dud. I recall being a little ill by the time my feet touched the ground…

  • wayne

    -I’ll never jump out of a functional aircraft, with a conscious pilot, in the first instance!
    (need one of those purple Xanax, just thinking about it, ha.)

    But seriously– good for you.!
    If we’re absolutely (101%) going down, you’ll probably have to push me out the hatch. (I’ll scream, but I will go…)
    Just in case this ever comes up– how does one stop oneself, from tumbling?

    As I recall– we have a number of folks here, who enjoy Newtonian physics, up close & personal. I’m more of table-top demonstration guy. (That and film!)

    I do occasionally watch that Felix Baumgartner (spell?) video, when he jumps from 140K feet. That’s enough vicarious-thrill for this old dog.

  • wayne

    good video. Gives a nice sense of height & three-dimensionality.

    I can’t resist.
    (they all landed safely…)

    Folksam Insurance
    “Parachuting Cats” [English]
    (Those whacky Swedes!)

  • Anthony Domanico


    I get that response a lot and for the record, if I ran into my past self I would say the same thing. Its pretty amazing how much I’ve changed as I aged.

    Regarding the question of how to stop tumbling, its all about the aerodynamics relative to the center of mass (you move your arms and legs to a certain position). Its the same principle as a badminton shuttlecock or birdie, it always flies with the dense part pointing in the direction of flight. As an interesting side note, on my second jump my instructor said we would do one flip then stabilize and I went along with the plan reluctantly. Execution of said plan was not successful. We did multiple flips and I rapidly became disoriented before he finally got us stabilized. That may have contributed to my nausea and my decision to never go again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *