Highest skydiver looks beyond his record

Image: Alan Eustace
Former Google executive Alan Eustace recounts his jump from the stratosphere at the University of Washington, with a photo of his descent in the background. (GeekWire photo by Alan Boyle)

One year after setting the world altitude record for a jump from the stratosphere, former Google executive Alan Eustace says the sky isn’t the limit – and neither is his record.

“There’s no reason you can’t go higher,” Eustace told GeekWire today after a talk at the University of Washington’s Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering. The event was part of the UW School of Computer Science and Engineering’s Distinguished Lecturer Series.

Eustace, a longtime airplane pilot whoretired from his post as Google’s senior vice president for knowledge in March, took on the self-financed “StratEx” skydiving mission to follow through on his passion for adventure and spaceflight. (He declined to tell how much the adventure cost him, other than to say “it was more than it should have cost.”)

The record-setting ride on Oct. 24, 2014, began with Eustace in a custom-made pressure suit, dangling from the end of a high-altitude balloon as it rose up from Roswell, N.M. Over the course of two and a half hours, he went into the stratosphere, up to an altitude of 135,890 feet (25.7 miles, or 41.4 kilometers).

“You can really start to see the beautiful Earth below, see the darkness of space,” he recalled during today’s talk.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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