Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Moment of Science, Please

Felix Baumgartner won his place in history for being the fastest man alive.
Before this we had Joe Kittinger, a retired Air Force test pilot and dare devil who went into freefall from an altitude of 102,000 feet (31,090 meters) above MSL. Kittinger attained a subsonic maximum velocity of 614 miles per hour (275 meters per second).
Felix Baumgartner, aka "Fearless Felix" has just today jumped from a height of 128,000 feet (39,014 meters) and broke the sound barrier having attained Mach 1.2, that is, 833.9 miles per hour or 373 meters per second.
Doing this was only possible because Baumgartner dropped from a higher altitude where the air is thinner and so his terminal velocity, the velocity that occurs when the upward force of air resistance balances the downward acceleration due to gravity, causing a falling object to fall at a constant velocity, occurred at a higher altitude than Kittinger's did.
You Tube is awash with video.
What to do with this? Yes it is a teaching moment, but how to I spin this into the political message of today? Well not today maybe. Maybe after Tuesday I can report that Mitt Romney's numbers are falling faster than Baumgartner.

No comments: