I suspect if you are having trouble clicking to move to the next question as airsteve172 did, that you are using the IE9 browser.
The fix is to "right clck" on the NEXT button and select OPEN.
Or, you can read it in Chrome!
I thought it was clear that Felix was joking about the boom, but I've fixed that. Should have been more literal here. As far as balloon/capsule is concerned, thanks for your feedback. No, he never jumped from a balloon but from a gondola/capsule, though "balloon" is often, as here, used as shorthand for the entire system. Thanks for all the feedback.
At an aviation seminar in Puyallup, Washington several years back a military pilot speaker told of ejecting from his crippled jet that was going virtually straight down at something like 800 MPH. His flight suit was torn off him and he was badly injured. Unfortunately his back seater was torn apart and died. According to the pilot it was the highest speed from which anyone had ever ejected and survived.
'It does but not a very big one. Baumgartner reported that he didn’t feel it or hear it.'
This is an inadequate answer, evidently flying magazine has a resident self-qualified armchair aerodynamicist. A sonic boom is a pressure wave created by the supersonic passage of an object through the air, it is inaudible to the object, or occupant travelling supersonic because they themselves are creating the pressure wave, the 'BOOM' is only audible if you experience the pressure wave impact. Concorde passengers never heard the plane go BOOM as it passed through Mach 1... people on the ground probably did but the 'sonic boom' is not a singular event the occurs when passing through the threshold of Mach 1, it is a continuous wave dragged along by the supersonic object all the while it is travelling above Mach 1. Any person passed by a supersonic object will hear the boom!
And finally, as for 'not a very big one', this assertion is made on the basis of what? That a little spaceman isn't big enough to make a very big bang? Have you ever heard a 7.62mm assault rifle being fired? The 'crack' you hear from large caliber rifles is the sonic boom being made by the bullet, and that's a projectile much smaller than a whole man in a space suit! The 'boom', if you had been hovering at altitude while Felix zoomed past you in free fall, would have been VERY loud, but because the pressure waves would have radiated out horizontally and dissipated into the atmosphere it would have been inaudible on the ground because Felix was travelling vertically! Sonic booms heard from supersonic aircraft flying overland are only heard because they are travelling horizontally and part of the shockwave is directed down toward the ground.
PeetPilot is 100% correct. I have heard both a 7.62 (Will never forget the sore shoulder sighting in a scope that turned out to be bent) and Concorde. I have seen a documentary on the first Concorde passengers that were disappointed going through Mach one with no sound and no bumps.
I would however be interested about the temperature changes or any heat generated by the free-fall.
I would be interested in knowing how Felix overcame the tumbling/ spinning during his descent.
Old Pilot says that the 800MPH speed was the fastest. A number of pilots/RSOs ejected from SR-71s. Some lived, some died.
I'm sure there were others that ejected from high-speed aircraft (I imagine a number punched out of F-104s and F-105s at supersonic speeds.)
Also, I believe there were rocket-sled tests done at supersonic speeds.
The whole list:
Be that as it may - the sudden wind blast would tend to bust you up pretty good.
As far as Felix goes - his speed was vertical against almost NO ATMOSPHERE at all!
This isn't about the jumpers skill, but his overcoming fear. They probably should have picked someone that wasn't suffering from claustrophobia. It makes no difference as anyone that is brave enough to fall out of a capsule at high altitude qualifies to reproduce this feat. Not impressed, besides, the Navy did this act many years ago, if you care to know.