October 14, 2012

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner Lands Highest Ever Jump (Source: BBC)
Austrian Felix Baumgartner has broken the record for the highest ever skydive by jumping out of a balloon 128,000ft (24 miles, 39km) above New Mexico. The 43-year-old was hoping also to break the sound barrier during his descent - although that mark awaits confirmation. It took just under 10 minutes for him to reach the desert surface below.

Only the last few thousand feet were negotiated by parachute. Once down, he fell to his knees and raised his fists in triumph. Helicopter recovery teams were on hand moments later. None of the new marks set by Baumgartner can be classed as "official" until endorsed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). GPS data recorded on to a microcard in the Austrian's chest pack will form the basis for any height and speed claims that are made. (10/14)

Russian Proton Launches U.S. Commercial Satellite (Source: RIA Novosti)
Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket with a US telecoms satellite, Intelsat-23, blasted off on Sunday from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. The launch was initially scheduled for August 23, but was postponed because of a failed satellite launch earlier that month, when two telecommunications satellites were lost due to a failure in the Russian Proton-M rocket's upper stage.

Intelsat-23 has been built by Orbital Sciences Corporation for Intelsat Ltd., which operates the world's most extensive satellite network, comprising over 50 satellites. The satellite is equipped with 24 C-band and 15 Ku-band transponders and will provide telecommunications services to customers in North and Latin America, Western Europe, Africa and some islands in the Pacific and Atlantic  (10/14)

China Launches Civilian Technology Satellites (Source: Xinhua)
China successfully launched the Practice-9 A and Practice-9 B satellites into space at 11:25 a.m. Sunday, the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center said. The satellites, launched from the center in north China's Shanxi Province, were boosted by a Long March-2C carrier rocket and sent into a predetermined orbit. The Practice-9 A and B are the first in a series of civilian satellites designed for technological experimentation. (10/14)

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