Ballooning To The Stratosphere And Skydiving Back? Here’s What To Wear

Listen Now
Photo:Stratex Suit in air

In 2014, a Google executive strapped himself to a giant balloon, floated 26 miles into the stratosphere, and cut the cord. Alan Eustace plummeted to Earth at speeds reaching 822 miles per hour, setting world records for both an altitude skydive and for distance of freefall, before landing safely with a parachute.

Protecting him on the 2 1/2 hour trip up to 135,890 feet, and on the 15 minute return, was a suit that was specially engineered to keep a human alive through extreme cold, blood-boiling low pressure, lack of oxygen, and supersonic speeds. In his book, The Wild Black Yonder, the lead engineer of the suit, Jared Leidich of Denver, explains the 3 years of design and testing that went into this successful skydive. He spoke with Colorado Matters' host Ryan Warner.