Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I read online today about a Skydivers stunt that did not get off the ground...actually he didn't. At North Battleford, Saskatchewan, a guy by the name of Michel Fournier, 64, was planning on using a 650 foot helium balloon to soar up to 130,000 feet or 25 miles above the earth, at which time he was going to jump out of his capsule and free fall for approximately 15 minutes. Fournier would then open his parachute and return back to earth. He was planning on a wearing a pressurized suit. The temperature at that altitude is about -130 degrees celsius. During his free fall, he would reach speeds between 745mph and 1,000mph. The speed of sound is 770mph. He would break the sound barrier at the speed he would be going. This adventure would have broke several world records: Altitude record for a skydive (130,000 feet, 40 km), Altitude record for human balloon flight, Record for longest free-fall and Record for fastest skydive. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you ask, he never got off the ground. His large helium balloon broke free from his capsule, leaving Fournier and his capsule stranded on solid terra firma. I can only imagine what I would look like doing a free fall from such heights...more than 4 times the height of Mt. Everest. My floppy cheeks would be flapping in the wind 50 feet behind the rest of my body. Not that I would ever even consider doing such a thing. I get queezy and nervous just climbing up a 6 foot ladder. Heights are not my thing and based upon this type of adventure, that is a good thing. I just don't have cojones big enough to try to do something like this and I am man enough to admit this. Other than taking a flight somewhere or possibly a roller coaster, I think I will stay put, where I belong..2 feet firmly planted on earth.