Perlan 2 soaring to the edge of the atmosphere

In my book The Big Red Buckle, I image an endurance race of people soaring mountain waves at the edge of the Martian atmosphere. Humanity seems infinitely adaptable and well beyond our petty and violent squabbles sports are wonderful aspirational motivation. The thing is people don’t fight one another if there is a framework in place for them to constructively compete with one another.

Whether it’s pushing a body as fast as possible along the edge of aerodynamic science, figuring out how to travel across Austrailia on a tank of sunshine, or soaring a sailplane to the edge of space on a poorly understood atmospheric phenomenon I see these endeavours as critical elements in the continuing development of our collective capability. More needs to be done here, and more should be written about these sorts of ideas.

Today’s inspiration is the Perlan Project, which intends to soar a sailplane to 90,000 km above the surface of the Earth on a mountain wave.

BM2015: Todd Reichert is the fastest man on earth


Todd Reichert rode 85.71 MPH in Eta

Originally posted on Biking in a Big City:

DSC02198 There is nothing in this picture that distinguishes from many other pictures that I have posted of the Eta speedbike, but it was taken this morning when Todd went 85.71 mph through the traps, beating the old record by a massive 2.58 mph.

There were two other world records set this morning: Florian Kowalik reset his Junior Men’s Trike record from earlier in the week, and Liz McTernan set a new record for a 600 m starting start sprint, timed over 200m, women’s arm power category.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.44.33 PM If you look closely, you will see that Todd scratched in the first heat. They had a bad launch, and the bike flopped over. The decision was made for Cam to drive back to town to retrieve the spare front fairing in time for Todd to start in the third heat, which he did in an extremely expeditious manner.

Other things that happened:


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BM2015: Tuesday AM: another morning, another world record


You didn’t know this was happening right now, did you? In a little-known place, next to nowhere, there are a time trials being conducted. At these time trials men and women will push the very limits of human powered speed. Welcome to Battle Mountain 2015.

Originally posted on Biking in a Big City:

This time, it was Ellen Van Vugt setting a new record for Women’s Multitrack with her first ride in CO2, during a 2.5 mile qualifying run.

There were three qualifying heats, followed by two 5 mile heats. Unfortunately, Delft/Amsterdam was a no show this morning, which means that they will also not be able to run this evening.

HPVDT ran Alan and Thomas in Vortex, this time with the windshield, that seemed to add a few mph.
DSC01994 Unfortunately, Bluenose had a failure of their secondary vision system and had to scratch.

Jan Marcel was able to get Cygnus Chronos down the track, and followed that up with a 76 mph run later in the morning. He says that he is still fighting jet lag, and he anticipates that he will go faster later this week.

Dave Collins unshipped his chain in Arion1 after 2 miles, braked down to about 40…

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