Paragon Space Development | Google’s Alan Eustace breaks world record for near space jump

October 24, 2014

Arizona Daily Star | Alan Eustace, PhD, a Senior Vice President at Google, breaks the world record for high altitude jumps on October 24, 2014.

Eustace made history with a near space dive from a high altitude balloon at approximately 135,000 feet. Eustace broke several records, including national record for highest exit altitude; world and national record for free fall under a drogue chute; national record for vertical speed.

Additionally, he became the second person to break the sound barrier outside an aircraft, announced Tucson, Arizona’s Paragon Space Development Corporation and its Stratospheric Explorer team, which supported the dive.

Eustace was lifted to his peak altitude by a helium filled scientific balloon while wearing a custom made pressurized spacesuit. At over 135,000 feet, he began his dive, remaining in free fall for approximately 4.5 minutes before landing safely nearly 70 miles from his launch point, Paragon officials said.

related reading:
Arizona Daily Star | “Tucson company completes record breaking near space dive”
The New York Times | “Parachutist’s record fall: over 25 miles in 15 minutes”

Atomic Entertainment | On October 24, 2014, after several years of development and testing with Paragon Space Development, Alan Eustace — Google’s Senior Vice President of Knowledge — broke all free fall dive records, as well as the sound barrier, as he demonstrated the viability of a new means of stratospheric exploration.

The full length feature StratEx: Edge of Space will soon be available. The film will include the dramatic engineering process, Alan Eustace’s view from space, and incredible footage of his ascent and Mach 1 descent.

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Atomic Entertainment | main
Atomic Entertainment | YouTube channel

related reading:
Paragon Space Development Corporation | main
Paragon Space Development Corporation | Stratospheric Explorer

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Wikipedia | Paragon Space Development Corporation
Wikipedia | Alan Eustace
Wikipedia | Taber MacCallum
Wikipedia | Biosphere 2

excerpt | Alan Eustace, PhD, is a Senior Vice President at Google in its Knowledge department. Eustace earned a PhD in computer science, authored 9 publications and holds 10 patents.

Prior to Google, Eustace spent 15 years at Digital, Compaq and then HP’s Western Research Laboratory, working on chip design and architecture projects. He worked with Amitabh Srivastava on ATOM in the 1990s, a binary code instrumentation system that forms the basis for a wide variety of program analysis and computer architecture analysis tools.

These tools had a profound influence on the design of the EV5, EV6 and EV7 chip designs. Eustace was promoted to director of the Western Research Laboratory in 1999, where he was active in pocket computing, chip multi-processors, power and energy management, internet performance, and frequency and voltage scaling.

Eustace joined Google in 2002 and is a Senior Vice President of Knowledge department, which includes research. He was previously the Senior Vice President of Engineering.

In 2011, Alan Eustace decided to pursue a stratosphere jump and met with Taber MacCallum, one of the founding members of Biosphere 2, to begin preparations for the project. MacCallum’s company, Paragon Space Development Corporation then began creating a life support system to make it possible for Eustace to breathe pure oxygen in a pressure suit during his ascent and fall. Over the next three years, the Paragon Space Development technical team designed and redesigned many of the components of his parachute and life support system.

On October 24, 2014, Eustace made a jump from the stratosphere, breaking Felix Baumgartner’s world record. The launch point for his jump was from an abandoned runway in Roswell, New Mexico, where he began his balloon powered ascent early that morning.

He reached a reported maximum altitude of 135,908 feet but the final number submitted to the World Air Sports Federation was from 135,890 feet. His descent to Earth lasted 15 minutes and stretched 26 miles with peak speeds exceeding 800 miles per hour.

Unlike Baumgartner, Eustace was not widely known as a daredevil prior to his jump, but does pilot a Cessna twin engine jet.

related viewing from Red Bull Stratos and prior world record holder Felix Baumgartner:

Red Bull | See through the eyes of Felix Baumgartner as he completes his world record breaking jump from the stratosphere.

Red Bull | Baumgartner reached an estimated speed of 843.6 miles per hour, or Mach 1.25, jumping from the stratosphere, which when certified will make him the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall and set several other records while delivering valuable data for future space exploration.

related reading:
Red Bull | Red Bull Stratos
Red Bull | YouTube channel

Wikipedia | Red Bull Stratos
Wikipedia | Felix Baumgartner

excerpt | Felix Baumgartner is an Austrian daredevil skydiver. He set a world record for skydiving an estimated 24 miles, reaching an estimated speed of 843.6 miles per hour, or Mach 1.25, on October 14, 2012, and became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power on his descent.

He held the skydiving record until October 24, 2014 when Alan Eustace jumped from 135,890 feet, or 25.74 miles.  Baumgartner is renowned for the particularly dangerous nature of the stunts he has performed during his career. Baumgartner spent time in the Austrian military where he practiced parachute jumping, including training to land on small target zones.

Baumgartner’s most recent project was Red Bull Stratos, in which he jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere on October 14, 2012. As part of this project, he set the altitude record for a manned balloon flight, parachute jump from the highest altitude, and greatest free fall velocity.