GPS Tracker Records Daredevil
Felix Buamgartner captivated the world when the Austrian daredevil did something no human had ever done before: jump from a capsule 24 miles above the ground and parachute safely to the earth. What Buamgartner did was so incredible and truly death-defying that it is no wonder almost 33 million people have viewed the official YouTube video of the stunt thus far. As Buamgartner was in free fall zooming toward the earth his GPS tracking equipment initially registered his max speed at 834 miles per hour. However, after reevaluation of the speed, it was determined Buamgartner actually reached an incredible velocity of 843 miles per hour.
Red Bull Stratos, the team assembled to assist Buamgartner throughout the jump, provided the 843 miles per hour number last month to the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and its overseas counterpart the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Buamgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team understood prior to the jump that his free fall to the Earth would likely shatter records and that is why they took multiple measures to calculate and measure his maximum falling speed. In order to be precise as possible, Buamgartner was equipped with four different GPS trackers that were all tested during practice jumps to ensure accuracy. However, these practice runs would not be the same as the real jump because of the additional variables from jumping at stratosphere heights. Variables such as rapid descending speed, possible tumbling, and disruption from sonic shock waves due to travel at Mach levels of speed.
After months of careful review and examination, the team was able to determine that all the tracker devices performed accurately and without abnormality. Even when Buamgartner crossed the sonic barrier.
The Buamgartner jump gained news attention all over the globe and of course, shattered numerous records. But the caveat is that information obtained from the jump will also be instrumental in the future development of spacesuits and other safety equipment and devices used by astronauts. This is something that Buamgartner stated was a great honor.
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Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.