A menu for the intrepid space jumper

Step one: Skip the beans. On Sunday, Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a balloon capsule in the stratosphere, parachuting safely down to Earth. Today, The Guardian answers some interesting questions about the feat, including an inquiry into Baumgartner's pre-jump diet. "For at least a day before the jump, Baumgartner consumed a "low-residue, low-fibre" diet on the orders of his medical team. They wanted his food to pass quickly through his body without any build-up of gas. In a low-pressure environment, the gas might expand and cause him severe internal pain – a condition known as barotrauma." (Via GrrlScientist)


  1. This sounds uncomfortable for sure, but I can’t be the ONLY person that immediately heard ‘Baro…Trauma’ drawn out like the old Pepto-Bismol ads with the Scanimate effects?

  2. The airlines should consider giving such a diet to air travelers; I’ve had problems with gas pain on flights, and I suspect the decreased barometric pressure in the cabins is an issue, especially for those of us who live close to sea level.  Of course, pain isn’t the only problem that results.

    1. Airliners are typically pressurized to 11 psi.  Normal atmospheric pressure is just under 15 psi.  Which means gastrointestinal gases expand by about 40%.  Possibly noticeable to sensitive individuals, but mostly not.

      Baumgartner went from 15 psi to 3 psi: a 500% gastrointestinal gas expansion.  That can hurt a lot.

  3. Sure, but if he’d eaten nothing but beans, could he have gone even faster with a bit of “rear-propulsion assistance”?

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