The world record is 136k feet but how high could it be without burning up. I know someone asked if u could jump from ISS which wouldn't be a free fall. Using any means of transportation. The record for a balloon is 180k feet but could it be higher than that? Yes with pressure suit. Obviously not from space because u would burn up but highest in earths atmosphere/ very low orbit? And be able to survive the free fall even parachute at 100k kph would probably kill u

  • $\begingroup$ How good a pressure suit do you allow? That is, how heat-resistant is it? Does it have ablative outer layers? How thick is it? $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2015 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ Related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/40829/2451 , physics.stackexchange.com/q/40886/2451 and links therein. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Jun 4, 2015 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ You could, but at a point you are basically just designing bigger and bigger heat resistant suits. $\endgroup$
    – Jimmy360
    Jun 4, 2015 at 23:27
  • $\begingroup$ The main problem is with the deceleration. Not the burn up, arriving vertically you would need to stop from 11km/s in seconds which is a huge deceleration which might break your body up. $\endgroup$
    – Calmarius
    Jun 6, 2015 at 7:25

2 Answers 2


The maximum speed possible for him to hit the ground form free-fall would be 11,200 m/s. This is the speed that he would have if you dropped him from "infinity". Therefore, if you can design a suit that can survive that then he can survive any height. 11,200 m/s is a very fast human but is a relatively slow meteorite. Apollo 11's re-entry speed was 103.71 m/s before parachutes were deployed, so needless to say, Felix would need protection.


Using any means of transportation

I choose a Star-Trek grade transporter. I also taught sport parachuting for 10 years.

As we can beam ourselves to any point we want, and do not have to be concerned with annoying orbital velocities, the re-entry speed is substantially reduced. Low-earth orbit will likely be no problem, and I'll sign up for it after a couple of sandbag tests. Anything much higher than LEO will definitely need some shielding, and you will have to consider an angled entry or you will just get squished against the back of the heat shield.

Once we are well away from the usual orbital altitudes we find we have to consider the attraction of other bodies, like the moon, when choosing our jump point. If the jumper materializes just on the other side of the earth-moon Lagrangian point he's just going to get a new lunar crater named after him, the name probably ending in "'s folly".

And if you choose the trailing side of Earth there is the possibility you will not have enough gravitational attraction to "fall" if you are too far away. Calculate carefully, or you may have to wait there a year for your next chance.


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