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Aerospace Record 24 mile parachute jump

  1. Oct 15, 2012 #1

    Ranger Mike

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    Felix Baumgartner ...what a trooper!! Question - what caused the radical spinning upon his intial jump from the balloon? No aero drag at that altitude ?? or was there?
     
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  3. Nov 1, 2012 #2

    K41

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    There is atmospheric drag and the atmospheric drag is the dominating effect for satellites up to about ~300 km altitude. After that, the drag still has an effect but the effect is considerably less pronounced (and other effects become more important). Obviously the number is not exact though.
     
  4. Nov 1, 2012 #3

    boneh3ad

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    There is certainly drag at that altitude, but not a whole lot of it. About the only way he could have prevented that would be to jump feet first like a pencil dive or to very carefully go head first in a way that didn't require him to spin when he jumped. Since he did have to turn when he jumped, there just wasn't enough drag for him to stabilize himself until he got lower.
     
  5. Nov 7, 2012 #4
    The Wolfram Blog's post on Baumgartner's fall discusses the instability which led to his spin in detail, towards the latter half of the article. You might be interested in reading that if you want a review of the mathematics behind the unstable rotations which took place.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2012 #5

    boneh3ad

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    It's essentially the same instability as spinning a textbook in the air around its three different axes. Of course, that applies for very low air resistance. Once you get into regions of high drag you are effectively putting a damper on the system so it is much easier to break out of.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2012 #6

    Ranger Mike

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    Thank you for the great insight...and taking the time to reply..
    rm
     
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