Today over the desert of New Mexico, a stunt sponsored by the Red Bull energy drink company ended in tragedy.
The attempt to set the highest skydive by a human went terribly wrong when skydiver Felix Baumgartner mistakenly launched his body towards space instead of earth.
It is unknown if when Felix reached that area of the atmosphere that separates earth from space he became confused, or if he was just trying to get a few extra feet in to prevent an immediate challenge to the record from another manufacturer of bogus performance enhancement products.
RIGHT: Skydiver Felix Baumgartner preparing to leap into history.
Launched from the bed of the desert, he slowly rose to the very edge of space in a small capsule lifted by a thin balloon. On the surface this sounds like a bad idea, but every technical detail of the adventure was thought to have been well explored. Obviously there was something that they missed in their years long planning.
During a news conference shortly after the discovery of their apparent failure, current skydiving world record holder, and technical consultant to the project, Joe Kittinger, issued this statement.
“We had taken every precaution that we could think of to ensure the safety of Felix in this jump. All possible issues that could arise have been looked at and thoroughly analyzed. His capsule, his space suit, his parachute, all of his life support systems, we double checked them all. I guess we missed the need for a damn paper arrow pointing down. I think we learned a little bit for the next time.”
NASA stated that as Felix floated by the international space station several of the astronauts stationed there were also able to visually signal him. One of the astronauts stated, “There wasn’t anything we could do for him. We waved. Man that dude really looked pissed.”
After several attempts to reach the corporate offices of Red Bull we have received no reply. Their statement will be published once we receive it.
We can only hope that in the face of this tragedy, the Red Bull company will constrain themselves to exploiting the sporting adventures of people such as drunken snowboarder Shaun White and not attempt anything else that requires actual skills.