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Ryan Westward's Blog

 


History

Throughout the years that I've been alive, I can remember a lot of records being broken.  Depending on the record, I either look it as "records were meant to be broken" or I like seeing records stand the test of time...again, just depends on the record in question.  Generally, you see records falling in sports...I remember being in college and seeing Cal Ripken Jr. break the "Ironman" record for most consecutive starts in major league baseball...watching the Olympics, it's not uncommon at all to see a record being broken even World Records as the athletes get faster and faster...here just a couple of weeks ago, Drew Brees set the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass in the NFL.  All of these are great accomplishments and sometimes the pursuit of a record can make us drop what we're doing and take notice (I'm sure everyone remembers how the homerun chase between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa and how practically all the networks would cut away from whatever programming they had on when either Mark or Sammy was up to bat).

Like I said, all of these are great accomplishments but it's pretty rare when a record breaking attempt is also (and quite literally) history in the making.  That was case this weekend.  I don't know if you saw Felix Baumgartner's space jump on Sunday but if not, you missed history being made.  I am still blown away from what I saw and I'm sure I will be for a long, long time.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Felix is an Austrian pilot and skydiver who was attempting to break the record for the highest skydive ever.  While there was some record breaking involved, this attempt had far more implications than just bragging rights.  The data from the jump will be used to further a lot of scientific understanding of what the human body can endure including understanding how the forces at work affect the human body and it was a test of the next generation of space suits that could give astronauts more options in a life threatening situation when they may need to bail out of their spacecraft.  I mean, this is almost up there with landing on the moon.  So, long story short, Felix jumped from a height of 24 miles above the Earth's surface...he was literally jumping through the Earth's stratosphere which is a VERY hostile environment.  From the time he launched to the time his feet hit the ground after the jump he set the record for the highest manned ascent in a balloon, the highest skydive AND he became the first human being ever to penetrate the sound barrier with no kind of craft accelerating him to those speeds...he did it strictly through freefall.  So, a HUGE congratulations to Felix and his whole team and such an incredible accomplishment!  Sky diving has always been on my bucket list and this may just give me the spark to go do it...although, I think I'll stay a little closer to the ground...

R




Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest
People : Cal Ripken Jr.Drew BreesFelix BaumgartnerMark McGuireSammy Sosa




 
10/15/2012 1:18PM
History
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