Saturday, April 28, 2012

Does It Give You Vacuum Wings?

Welcome to 2012, to a world where high-flying energy-drink maker Red Bull has a space program. Advised by none other than man's man -- and astronaut's astronaut -- Joseph Kittinger, they'll be sending a man plummeting to earth from the edge of space, bare-nekkid but for his heated longjohns, a pressure suit and a parachute. It's a bit thin if you're going to break the sound barrier along the way -- which he will.

Holy Yuri Gagarin! (Whose own mission was more exciting than was admitted to at the time.)

Ballooning up as far as possible and then stepping out for a quick drop home sounds modest compared to Branson/Rutan tourist flights, Blue Origin's SSTO or Elon Musk's practical rocketry, but in terms of manned presence it's a big step, one previously undertaken only by entities with names like "USAF" or "USSR."

I wish them every success -- and wonder what'll happen if they stumble onto the Hidden Frontier? (Where there is finally a smidgen of new content.)

1 comment:

Ed Rasimus said...

Joe Kittinger is, indeed, a legend. MiG killer, fighter pilot, NamPOW and only man to go supersonic without benefit of an airplane. He still makes it to River Rat reunions with some degree of regularity. Great guy.