Except for the white suit, jump is smooched from Star Trek (2009)
I understand that crossing certain boundaries opens our human experience to new possibilities. However, boundary crossings have both costs and rewards. I see the value in, perhaps, rescuing an astronaut from space, but I question the underlying assumption that this should be a priority in the face of other important agenda items. Even if you value space flight, what is gained with this stunt if we don't even have a shuttle program to actively get people up there? At any rate, I question the likelihood that such a rescue would be a priority.
I also question the motive behind the Red Bull movie. Seriously, this whole elaborate stunt is to test equipment? No, I would suggest that this is a publicity campaign to make NASA seem cool again, a gratuitous solicitation of funding. The public has exhibited a marked lack of interest in NASA of late, and this jump from space was the Youtube viral hit to put the lagging program back on the map.
In fact, Baumgartner's thrill ride smacks of the jumps from space in the Star Trek (2009) movie, J. J. Abrams' style. They mooched the plot line. The ploy worked brilliantly in the original series - Star Trek is cool so NASA is hip too. The series began in 1966, and we landed on the moon in '69. SciFi promotes NASA, and Baumgartner pulled off the ultimate Star Trek stunt.
The claim that the suit needed testing is just silly. Our technology here on the planet is sufficient to test a space suit - we found the God Particle in July for Heaven's sake. Scientists at Cern must be snickering right now.
I am a lover of science, tech, and the space program. I just have doubts about this movie ... I mean test.
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