Death Challenge Foundation and The Death Dive - Jump From Stratosphere With No Spacesuit

jim bell jdb10987 at
Thu Dec 17 15:52:08 PST 2015

>From: Zenaan Harkness <zen at>

>At 3.33pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), "The Challenger", who will remain
>anonymous and masked, will risk his life by jumping out of a jet from
>the stratosphere, 9.53 miles (15.3 km) above the Earth, and diving
>50,300 feet with NO spacesuit, NO pressure suit, NO oxygen and NO
>parachute into shark-filled waters – all in a bid to STOP Death by
>Dirty Water. (

Lack of pressure suit:  No problem.  Early ideas for experimental space included
one that was basically Ace bandages wound around the body.  The skin was exposed
 to the vacuum; the purpose of the bandage was to keep the water from 'boiling'
with the vapor expanding under the skin.  The vapor pressure of water at body temperature, 37 degrees
 C,  is about 50 torr.  One atmosphere pressure at sea level is about 760 torr. 
 Atmospheric pressure at 50,000 feet is 83 torr.  (1 torr is a mercury column 1
 millimeter high.)

One important need will be thermal insulation, including gloves and a mask.  

Lack of oxygen could easily be a problem.  But neglecting air friction, a person 
would fall about 16,000 feet in 31 seconds.  (1/2 a t-squared) I've read it said that it is just
barely within the realm of possibility for a person to ascend Everest (28,000 feet)
without oxygen.  Presumably, merely falling for 45 seconds  would be far easier. 

WITH pure oxygen should make things much more doable.

As for hitting the water without a parachute:  If a person's orientation could be guaranteed, the danger
would be little worse than an ordinary high-diver.  Give him a drogue parachute, could be quite small,
and he will enter the water at a known position.
       Jim Bell

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list