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Freefall

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graeme edgeler
680015.  Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:52 pm Reply with quote

Qi finally arrived in New Zealand, starting with episode F4 for some reason, and I was pleased to spot half an error:

It was suggested that loose clothing for Col Joseph Kittinger's world record freefall (31.3 km, not 32km) would have made the fall really loud. It wouldn't have, and he's quoted to this effect in the Atmosphere episode of the BBC's "Earth: The Power of the Planet". Given the scarcity of the air at 31km about the Earth, there's pretty much nothing to push past you - air can't rush past you (and make a great noise) if there's no air to begin with.

 
monzac
680018.  Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:33 pm Reply with quote

G'day graeme edgeler. Welcome :)

Nice to see another antipodean here.

 
Jenny
680178.  Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:48 pm Reply with quote

Welcome graeme - we like quibblers here :-)

 
soup
680227.  Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:45 pm Reply with quote

graeme edgeler wrote:
Given the scarcity of the air at 31km about the Earth, there's pretty much nothing to push past you - air can't rush past you (and make a great noise) if there's no air to begin with.


Scarcity not complete absence. At the speed he was falling (over Mach 1 I believe) there would have been a fair amount of 'air' molecules whizzing past him perhaps this gave legs to the 'lots of noise' story.

C.F. The shuttle re-entry. Not a lot of air at bumbleburp kilometres, but at the speed it is travelling there are enough hitting it fast enough to really heat it up.

 
graeme edgeler
680246.  Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:13 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
there would have been a fair amount of 'air' molecules whizzing past him perhaps this gave legs to the 'lots of noise' story.


Perhaps, but given that he's given interviews in which he says this didn't happen, and the only way he could tell he was falling was that the balloon from which he dropped moving farther away from him (this being noted by Stephen), the 'lot of noise' story is as legless as an [insert name of city that forms the butt of jokes in your country] [insert local colloquialism for young drunk woman] on a Friday night.

 

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