Quirky World

Teddy bear falls from space, beats skydiving record

Teddy bear falls from space, beats skydiving record
Published: 3:35 PM, August 31, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, September 2, 2013
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NEW YORK - A teddy bear has beaten Felix Baumgartner’s skydiving world record after plummeting to earth from more than 39,000 metres.

Meet Felix Beargartner: Babbage the cuddly toy has become a rival to human daredevil Felix Baumgartner by jumping from a weather balloon in the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

Babbage was fitted with a computer which shot photos of the flight and transmitted his position.

He travelled at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour although was lucky not to be injured when his parachute yanked his neck back as it deployed.

Software programmer David Ackerman decided to fly Babbage after watching a video of Baumgartner’s leap from space.

Mr Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos project set the world record when he skydived from a height of 38,969 metres last October. The event was viewed live on YouTube by more than 8 million people.

For his “Ted Bull Stratos” project, Mr Ackerman said that using a teddy bear was an obvious choice because of the “cuteness factor” involved.

Mr Ackerman had to remove Babbage’s fluffy insides to install the Raspberry Pi computer and GPS software, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The low-cost Raspberry Pi was created to introduce computing skills to children but Mr Ackerman chose it for the ease in which it could be used to take photos.

After a failed attempt earlier this month Babbage was launched from a site near Newbury, Berkshire.

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