The Highest Skydive Record is Broken Again!

I’m sure a lot of us remember the stratospheric skydive of Felix Baumgartner two years ago (I know, I can’t believe it’s been two years either).  It gathered a lot of media attention and the live webcast put on by Red Bull made it an amazing event.  He jumped from a height of 39km, accelerating to a speed of 1,357 km/hr, breaking the sound barrier and a world record in the process.

Felix Baumgartner about to jump from the edge of space.

Well they say nothing lasts forever, and this record only lasted about two years, because on Friday, Alan Eustace jumped from 7000 ft higher, an altitude of 41.4 km, to break the Stratospheric jump record.  His speed of 1,322 km/hr was slightly slower than Baumgartner’s, though he still broke the sound barrier so I don’t think anyone was worried.

Take a look at Felix Baumgartner:


This dude looks like a daredevil base-jumping adrenaline junkie.

Now let’s see Alan Eustace, who is the Google VP of Search (A very high-up job at Google):

Credit: Rico Shen

How did this 57 year old guy, who certainly looks like an executive, with no history of daredevil activities (Though he does fly a Sesna…) end up breaking the world record on a stratospheric stunt jump that only 3 other people have ever attempted?

Just goes to show, looks aren’t everything.  Still, you always wonder about Google being behind all this.  Earlier this year they acquired Skybox, a microsatellite launcher.  Its clear that google wants to explore space.  Is this stunt by a senior executive another step in Google’s eventual leap into the corporate space race?


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