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A Tribute to Fearless Felix

2012 October 15
by Ben Jones

It was hard not to watch the coverage of Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking plunge yesterday. To think that a human broke the sound barrier while in free-fall is unbelievable to say the least.

Seeing Baumgartner climb out of his capsule and look at the planet beneath him got me thinking about how some of the data points of this feat compare with other data points:

  • How high was he relative to other things I am familiar with, like the cruising altitude of a commercial jetliner?
  • How fast did he travel relative to an NHRA dragster or a bullet being fired from a gun?
  • How long was he falling compared to the fastest mile time?
  • I created this viz to help me answer some of these questions:

    Hope you like it!

    13 Responses leave one →
    1. October 16, 2012

      Well done Ben! Clean, clear, concise!

    2. October 16, 2012

      Thanks, Ben. Beautifully well done. What Andy said.

    3. October 16, 2012

      Many thanks Andy & Michael!

    4. October 22, 2012


      You consistently create interesting and informative viz. Nice work!

      • October 22, 2012

        Dan, wow, thanks a lot! You’re too kind. I’m looking forward to meeting you at TCC12 in a couple of weeks.

    5. Jeff Rice permalink
      November 5, 2012

      Love this viz! I forwarded it on to my co-workers at Tableau a few weeks ago. Wish you were in San Diego for Tableau Customer Conference. You were on my list of people to meet.

      • November 6, 2012

        Hi Jeff – I’m here in San Diego! Thanks for the kind words about this vis and let me know if you’re free to meet sometime in the next few days!

    6. Morgan Bond permalink
      November 15, 2012

      Very cool, Ben! I like it! Good work!

    7. November 25, 2012

      Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Loved the Tom Petty reference! :-)

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