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AZ Tech Beat | March 29, 2017

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Google exec breaks world skydiving record jumping from space

Google exec breaks world skydiving record jumping from space
Travis Arbon

For all of you adrenaline junkies out there who skydive and jump from extreme heights, there is a new kind of rush…space jumping.

Alan Eustace, a Google vice president, broke a world record for parachute jumping after diving from the stratosphere with the help of Tucson-based Paragon Space Development Corporation.

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Eustace was carried into the stratosphere by a balloon and then dropped from miles above the surface. He fell for about four minutes before the parachute activated and he glided to safety. He dove from nearly a mile and a half higher than the previous record holder, Felix Baumgartner, whose jump was sponsored by Red Bull.

If jumping from nearly outer space isn’t cool enough, Eustace fell fast enough to break the sound barrier and create a sonic-boom.  Siiiiiiick.

 

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But if skydiving from space is a little too extreme for you, then don’t worry, because Paragon and its partner World View are working to make space tourism a reality.

Related: Tucson-based firm hopes to take passengers up to space

World View creates advanced balloons that can carry passengers far into the upper atmosphere to get a better than bird’s-eye view of our planet. The company has acquired the balloon and launching technology Paragon’s team developed for Eustace’s jump to help further their vision of commercial space tourism.

Customers will be able to spend one-to-two hours floating on the edge of the atmosphere in a windowed capsule that has a built-in bar, restroom and even Internet access. Imagine having a cold brewski while you gaze over the Grand Canyon, then posting it to Instagram.

If traveling to space sounds like your kind of adventure, you can hop over to World View’s website to make a reservation; before you click yes, make sure to look at the price tag. Each flight costs $75,000 (a $5,000 initial deposit with the remainder due six months before launch), so you may want to start saving now if you have your heart set on one of these trips. The company hopes to begin commercial flights in 2016.

If the infinite emptiness of space sounds like the ultimate adrenaline rush, then jump on board.

Pictures and video courtesy of World View and Paragon.