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Google Exec’s Stratospheric Skydive Sets New World Record

  • Skydive
    Alan Eustace descends to the ground during his record skydive October 24.
  • Skydive
    Eustace is seen prior to the launch in the Paragon Space Development Corporation StratEx (Stratospheric Explorer) pressure suit.

October 30, 2014 - Google executive Alan Eustace set a new world skydiving altitude record Friday, October 24, when he ascended to 135,890 feet above Roswell, New Mexico, and parachuted to the ground. That eclipsed the previous world record of 128,100 feet set just 2 years ago this month by Felix Baumgartner in the Red Bull Stratos team. Eustace also set new world records for vertical speed and freefall distance.

Lifted by a helium-filled balloon, Eustace ascended to altitude in two hours and seven minutes - not in a state-of-the-art pressurized capsule as in Baumgartner’s effort but in a fully self-contained Paragon Space Development Corporation StratEx (Stratospheric Explorer) pressure spacesuit and recovery system that Eustace helped Paragon design.

The achievement occurred with little advance notice, which was by design; Eustace, Google's senior vice president of knowledge, even turned down support from his employer because he didn’t want to create a marketing event.

After reaching altitude and taking some time to enjoy the unique view, Eustace cut loose of the balloon and began a 14 minute, 19 second descent - the first four and a half minutes in freefall assisted by a stabilizing drogue. During the freefall he achieved a speed of 822 mph, a world record. Deploying his shoot at 18,000 feet established a new world record for the longest freefall distance. The Red Bull Stratos team congratulated Eustace for his achievement on its website.

Learn more about the achievement on the Paragon SDC website. Watch Paragon’s video.

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