This summer, BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner plans to finally jump out of a helium balloon floating more than 120,000 feet from the Earth. (I first posted about Baumgartner's plans back in 2010.) If he succeeds, he'll beat the longstanding record set in 1960 by Air Force colonel Joe Kittinger who we've posted about before here. Kittinger is part of Baumgartner's team for his leap of faith. From Air & Space (Jay Nemeth photo):
“Basically we want to instrument Felix just like he was an airplane,” says Jon Clark, a former NASA space shuttle crew surgeon and Stratos’ medical director. Baumgartner will be wearing a physiological monitoring system used by the U.S. military and adapted for the Stratos project. The instrument pack, worn on the jumper’s chest, will monitor his heart and respiratory rates and collect echocardiogram data. It also has an accelerometer, which will monitor whether Baumgartner’s body is spinning and if so, how fast. If he’s experiencing more than 3.5 Gs of rotational force, his stabilizing drogue chute will deploy automatically.
“We are doing stuff that’s been done before, if only by a few people,” says Clark. “But what we’re doing is capturing more information.”
Baumgartner’s team says that its primary aim is to advance the science of survival at extreme altitude, not just to break records or publicize (jump sponsor) Red Bull.
"The 120,000-Foot Leap"
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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