Newsdeck

World record

Three Russians parachute from stratosphere to North Pole

Three Russians parachute from stratosphere to North Pole
Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos is carried into a medical tent after he and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov landed in their Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft in a remote area on March 2, 2016 near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

MOSCOW, April 19 (Reuters) - Three Russians set a world record for parachuting from the Earth's stratosphere to the North Pole last week in a mission that also served as a test of a new prototype communications system for use in the Arctic, an organiser of the venture told Reuters.

Mikhail Korniyenko, Alexander Lynnik and Denis Yefremov hurled themselves from an Ilyushin-76 plane at a height of 10,500 metres (34,450 feet) and spent about two and a half minutes in freefall before opening their chutes 1,000 metres above the ground. The descent was captured in a spectacular video.

All three suffered some frostbite to their cheeks, despite wearing heated masks, said organiser Nikita Tsaplin. As they plunged at a speed of more than 300 km/h, the air temperature of around -50 Celsius (-58 Fahrenheit) felt like -70C (-94F).

They landed near Russia’s Barneo polar base, where Tsaplin said they were able to power up a server using diesel generators and establish a connection to a satellite. The equipment had been dropped earlier from a lower altitude.

Communications in the Arctic are likely to take on greater importance as nations including Russia, the United States and China compete there for resources, trade routes and military advantage.

Tsaplin said the Russians were able to send data via an experimental system, though he acknowledged at this point it had nothing like the capabilities of U.S.-based Iridium Communications Inc, which provides coverage from both the Earth’s poles.

“Of course, our solution is a prototype, but still we managed, from our server, to connect with our satellite and to transfer data,” said Tsaplin, who is managing partner and co-founder of Russian hosting provider RUVDS.

“Sure, it’s not Iridium just yet, but we made some small steps in that direction and that was actually the task – to see how realistic it would be to build a low-cost solution in order to get access from a computer to a satellite.”

(Reporting by Reuters, writing by Mark Trevelyan, editing by Christina Fincher)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Agf Agf says:

    This is a very poor report from Reuters as it fails to explain what the supposed new world record is. All it says is that they hurled (yes you read it right, hurled) themselves from an aircraft 34,450 ft above the ground. This height is most certainly not a record in itself. Many skydivers, both military and civilian have jumped from higher altitudes. Maybe the record was because they “hurled” themselves out of the plane and no one had previously ever “hurled” themselves. Bwahahaha. 🤣🤣

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz