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Supersonic Jump

A Skydive that lasted 15 minutes

Twenty-Five miles up into the atmosphere,  a man hung from a balloon contemplating what he was about to accomplish for the advancement of science. Little did he know he was about to set a world record. At such a high risk, he would pave a new road for aviation history.


The Man, The Jumper

Alan Eustace, a Computer Scientist with Google, made a historic jump from the stratosphere in 2014. He has been passionate for skydiving since the age of 18 years old. This precipitated the spark for this adventure to the edge of the earth.


Alan had a concept for the design of a suit for space jumping based on the idea of a scuba diving suit. With scuba diving, “you only take what you need” as he mentioned. He proved that to travel to the stratosphere, a capsule was not required.

His jumpsuit had an inner frame structure with the dual capacity to warm and cool. The dual temperature environment within the suit would prevent the face shield from fogging over and allow him to maintain a comfortable (life-saving) temperature level.


What is a stratosphere?


The earth’s atmosphere consists of five layers. The higher the layer, the thinner the air is. Each layer has its unique properties and temperatures. Eustace traveled up to the stratosphere where he jumped.



  • Closest to Earth’s Surface; this is where we live
  • 4-12 miles high
  • Warm at the lower level near Earth but colder higher up



  • Second layer just above Troposphere
  • 12-31 miles high
  • Jets and weather balloons fly in this layer



  • Third layer just above Stratosphere
  • 31-53 miles high
  • The coldest part of earth’s atmosphere average -130 degrees



  • Fourth layer just above Mesosphere
  • 53-620 miles high
  • The hottest part of atmosphere up to 2,700 degrees
  • Space shuttles and International Space Station orbits Earth in this layer



  • Fifth layer just above Thermosphere
  • Highest layer and it merges into outer space

Going Up


Alan began his ascent hooked onto a weather balloon filled with helium. He traveled upwards for two hours while he dangled beneath the balloon in his specially designed suit.


At the peak of his flight up, he was in awe of the beauty. “It was amazing,” he said. “You could see the darkness, and you could see the layers of the atmosphere.” He had traveled up to an altitude of 135,890 feet!


Coming Down


Releasing a tether hooked from his suit to the balloon, he began to plummet downward. The tremendous speeds of up to 822 mph, caused him to break the sound barrier and was heard by some on the ground. He was not even aware he had broken the sound barrier!


It was a wild, wild ride. I hugged on to the equipment module and tucked my legs and held my heading.”


Gravity Wins Again!



Regardless of the two hours it took to reach the targeted altitude, once gravity took hold of Alan Eustace, he was pulled back down in a matter of 15 minutes! Something to ponder within one’s mind.

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Filed under Blogging, extreme skydiving, Extreme sports, risk taking, Risks of sky diving, Sky diving, super sonic skydive, thrill seeking

Understanding Risk Takers

Get Down Off Your Unicorns You Madmen!

What attracts a person to be an extreme sport/adventure enthusiast? It goes against all human understanding that we don’t do things outside of our level of comfort as it is viewed as “risk-taking.” Is one certifiably off their rocker to jump out of a moving airplane?

Understanding the Consummate Rush

The stereotypical risk taker is perceived as one that has no regard for their own safety and lacks fear. In contrast, the risk takers are in fact fearful and happen to be emotionally stable. They channel fear differently than someone else might.


Research done in 2014 by Wilderness and Environmental Medicine indicated that some people’s fear never crosses a certain boundary, whereas the thrill seeker taps into their fear. As Red Bull Snow quotes in “Days of My Youth,” “The moment you lose fear, you put yourself in the most dangerous situations.”


Perhaps the “risk takers” see extreme sports/adventure as an escape from the mundane day to day life.

How does Extreme Sports/Adventure Affect the Brain?

The brains of those seeking the “rush” from extreme sports/adventure may have lower levels of dopamine or serotonin. These two neurotransmitters in our brain play a vital role in the makeup of our behavior.


  • Dopamine is responsible for pleasure. This neurotransmitter is the vehicle which delivers the “highs” of life to our brains.
  • Serotonin, however, is a transmitter that regulates our moods and helps with sleep as well as coping with day to day life.

When a person’s level of these two transmitters are imbalanced, they may suffer depression, insomnia, lack of sexual desire and fatigue. Risk takers self-medicate so to speak by going out and partaking in something extreme. The high or rush they experience is the brain releasing dopamine and/or serotonin.


Characteristics of a Risk Taker


  • Active in being at the forefront of making things happen and work as opposed to sitting on the sidelines.
  • Embodies the desire to want to know how things work and fail to accept something at face value. They believe there is always a better way to do something.
  • They place more value on winning than losing.
  • Risk takers love being around other risk takers.
  • Failure is defined as positive for them as they see it as a way to learn.

Famous People who are Risk Takers

Risk taking is not limited to extreme sports/adventure but comes in various forms such as your occupation. Although the inherent danger of investing, stock trading or buying real estate is nothing comparable to a bungee jump, it does provide the rush.


A few people that we are familiar with that experience the rush of extremism or risk taking:

  • Donald Trump – investing
  • Paul Revere – rode to warn that the British were coming
  • Evil Knievel – dangerous stuntman
  • Philippe Petit – tightrope walker between World Trade Center towers in 1974
  • Reed Timmer – storm chaser


Some professions are considered more attractive to those who tend to be risk takers.

  • Firefighters
  • Police Officers
  • Bomb Squad Technician
  • Military Fighter Pilots
  • Sea Fishermen
  • Tiger Trainers
  • Stuntmen

Whether a risk taker or not, we all share the need for contentment. The method of how we find that contentment is what separates the fearless from the fearful.


“All success stems from risk” – Argo Group.

check out some of our other posts. For any questions or inquiries please reach out to us on our contact page

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Filed under Blogging, Extreme sports, risk taking, Sky diving, thrill seeking

Welcome to Sky Dive Bristol UNI Blog

Welcome to our blog, we hope this is going to be a source of knowledge for beginners and seasoned skydivers. New posts are coming soon please be on the look out.

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