Sunday, October 14, 2012

Once again, reality trumps Star Trek—amazing!

Forget your cell-phone example and your hands-off medical scanner prototypes.

What happened this weekend ...

Baumgartner Completes Record-Setting Jump
ROSWELL, N.M. — Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner landed gracefully on Earth after a 24-mile jump from the stratosphere in a dramatic, record-breaking feat that may also have marked the world's first supersonic skydive.

... was pretty much Trekland science fiction in 1994:

Okay, so technically—to echo Kirk's "orbital" skydive (and B'Elanna's via Holodeck, from Voyager's "Extreme Risk" )a true "orbit" would occur at a minimum of about 100 miles altitude, and Baumgartner jumped from about 24. Thus, unlike Kirk's dive suit seen here (which likewise was recycled for B'Elanna's scene) there was no need for any high-friction re-entry "personal heatshield" tiles; Baungartner simply wasn't high enough up to encounter that kind of atmospheric friction heat.

 But still... wow. 

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