Did you watch Felix Baumgartner jump from the edge of space on Sunday? I was in sunny Salisbury with my boyfriends family and we watched every second. His climb took 2.5hours, and was full of excitement, as anything could go wrong and cause the mission to be aborted. When it finally got to the moment when Felix was unplugging himself and the chair was moving closer and closer to the door, I was on the edge of my seat!
Shortly after he jumped, there was a moment where he started to spin. At that altitude, there was little atmospheric friction to slow him down, and if momentum carried him into uncontrollable rotations, he could lose consciousness and die. The black and white shot of this brave man spinning at 700pmh, all in the name of scienitfic adventure, was terrifying. The commentator went silent as the world watched Felix fall.
Thankfully, Felix managed to pull out of the ‘death spin’ through his talent, experience and skill. I am so glad we can celebrate his achievement instead of mourning his loss. So when I saw this illustration, I was moved by how the artist had managed to capture so many elements of the stratos jump.
It has a childlike quality, as so many of us are fascinated by space, dinosaurs and the universe when we are young, but somewhere along the path to adulthood, we lose sight of that wonder and learning, and focus on ourselves. Felix jumping reminded us all of how tiny we are in comparison to the universe, but what we are still able to achieve.
If you like, you can buy it as a poster here.
Did you watch him jump? Did you get a bit teary to? We watched ‘Contact’ last night too, so I’m having a very spacey week 🙂