Felix Baumgartner. Whether it is possible to break a sound barrier in a free fall? Whether
the tester Felix Baumgartner Visited space? No, he unambiguously did not visit space. In space balloons, more precisely stratosphere balloons, have no carrying power and therefore do not fly. The space in which there was a parachutist is called a stratosphere.
It is the layer of the atmosphere of Earth which is settling down at the height from 11 to 50 km above sea level. From this it follows that squall of the headings containing the words “jump from space“ are obvious exaggeration or if you want, a journalistic hyperbole.
But it does not belittle scale of an event at all. In essence he made an act, comparable with Gagarin`s feat. He opened unknown and risked much, making this record jump. I would call him Gagarin among parachutists - skaydayver. Skaydayvingom is called free flight during a free-fall parachute jump. On this sport the international competitions are nowadays held.
It is known that Baumgartner made the jump from height of 39 012 m though in the program of a jump height of 36 500 m was initially designated. It was already a world record of raising of the person in a stratosphere balloon. Having risen by 2,5 km is higher, it increased chances to keep the record as long as possible.
Hardly in the near future there will be a person who will try to beat Felix Baumgartner`s record. By the way, it is known that modern high-rise meteorological balloons can rise up to the height of 40 000 m, and the record of raising of a pilotless balloon is equal to 51 800 m
Time of a free fall of F. Baumgartner, to surprise, did not become record. It made 4 minutes 19 seconds whereas the record in this area is slightly higher. But to Felix had no time for that also to slow down in the different ways the speed of the decrease. Though potentially it had every chance to break and this record.
The record of the speed reached by a skaydayver in free flight made 1173 km/h. What is equal in recalculation to 325,8 m/s. Such is there was the maximum speed of Felix. Let`s look now whether it reached sound speed in air?
With change of flight altitude also the local speed of a sound changes. So at sea level at 15 degrees Celsius and normal pressure the speed of a sound is equal to about 340 m/s. However with increase in height the speed of a sound begins to fall. And, for example, at the height of 20 000 m it is equal to 295 m/s.
It reached the maximum speed approximately in 35 seconds since the beginning of free flight when overcame about 5,5 km and was at the height over 33 000 m. There the speed of a sound is less than 290 m in sec. Therefore it precisely broke a sound barrier, and twice. The second time when speed began to decrease and became below the local speed of a sound in air.
Thus, Felix Baumgartner really of became the first person in the world who broke a sound barrier without the aid of any vehicle .
Why overcoming of a sound barrier did not come to the end for the parachutist tragicly? The explanation is simple: speed of a sound was exceeded the first minute of a free fall when density of air was still too small that it is somehow serious to influence a body of the parachutist.
Another matter in the dense atmosphere, for example, at the height of 5 000 m. If to jump out of the plane flying with a transsonic speed at such height the instant death will follow, the body of the person will be simply broken off on part.
And why then it did not burn down as a meteor or old satellites when they enter dense beds of the atmosphere? Yes because they have different speeds at an entrance to dense beds of the atmosphere. Space bodies enter the atmosphere with a speed exceeding the first space - 7,9 km/s. And at Felix Baumgartner the maximum speed was 326,5 m/s, that is speeds of a space body are 24 times lower. To it during descent it was rather cold, than hot.
However if the astronaut in a space suit for some reason begins descent to Earth, then in dense beds of the atmosphere it by all means will burn down. No space suit will help. The first space - serious speed!
Average speed of descent of Felix made 150 m/s. And this speed during all descent very strongly varied. Initial speed was equal to zero. Then it quickly, the first minute of descent, reached sound speed. After that it gradually decreased. At the moment when the parachute was developed, at the height of 1 500 m, the speed of the parachutist was about 60 - 70 m/s. And the landing of parachutists occurs at a speed less than 10 m/s.
In conclusion I want to provide Felix Baumgartner`s answer to the journalist`s question before flight. It was asked: “whether in process of approach of this jump you feel fear of a step to novel? “ He answered frankly. “ Of course, I feel fear. But I am involved in extreme actions so long ago that learned to use fear to himself on advantage. The fear became my friend. He helps me not to go too far for dangerous line “.
I consider it as the answer of the real man. So, I think, also Yury Gagarin would answer.