Monday, October 15, 2012


In case you missed it, an Austrian man jumped from the edge of space yesterday and reached Mach 1.24 in his free fall back to earth. That is 800+ miles per hour without the protection of a plane around him. We watched the entire event unfold, all two and a half hours of it, completely transfixed that someone could be courageous (borderline crazy) enough to effectively risk killing himself in from of family and friends and the viewing audience as well.  I think what he did was absolutely amazing and mind boggling, surpassed only by the fact that someone had already made a similar jump from a 'mere' 19 miles up all the way back in 1960! What made yesterday's jump even better was that the previous record holder, now 84 years old, was the only person in the command center who was allowed to communicate with the jumper for safety reasons.  I am fascinated by this on so many levels none the least of which is that this gentleman had the wits about him at his age to be able to take down the stats necessary to ensure a safe jump, but also to complete the final check list necessary before the jumper dove out of the capsule. The fact I find most interesting is that this gentleman retains the longest free fall record as that was one record not broken yesterday...and he did it all 52 years ago.  Unbelievable!

Now, let's talk about the jumper's mom.  Oh, my goodness, how the heck did she stand to watch this feat?  Yes, she did cry initially but then she seemed to pull herself together in a way I know I never could.  When the camera panned to her calmly sitting on the couch watching the live feed, she looked as though she might have been watching 'Dancing with the Stars' instead.  Even with the years of daredevil antics I am certain her son put her through prior to this, I was still amazed at her calm persona as she had no idea how this show was going to end.  Thankfully, it ended very well but, boy, it could have been ugly.

Hopefully, none of my children will ever subject me to this type of torture as they all know I would not sit by stoically, calmly watching their antics, hoping for a positive result.  Had that been my son yesterday, I would have knocked that crane driver out and driven my son, still in that capsule, right out of Roswell and then I would have blamed aliens for the disruption.

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