Saturday

A High-Flying Google Exec Breaks A Record

A Google senior executive, at 57 years old, has broken the world record for the highest ever sky dive (yes, beating the Felix Baumgartner Red Bull record set so spectacularly only a couple of years ago). This was not a "official" Google attempt to break the record; Alan Eustace, a senior vice president there is an accomplished sky-diver in his own right.
At dawn he was lifted from an abandoned runway at the airport here by a balloon filled with 35,000 cubic feet of helium.
For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.”
Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at speeds that peaked at 822 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by people on the ground.
NYTimes

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