Here's all the tech that Luke Aikens used for that insane 25,000 foot skydive without a parachute

American Luke Aikins is not your typical skydiver. Born into a skydiving family, Aikens has continued the family tradition with more than 20 years of skydiving experience and 18,000 jumps under his belt. Last week, the daredevil became the first person ever to skydive from 25,000 feet without a parachute or a wingsuit. Aikins’s success can be attributed to more than just skill and chance. Though both of those factors played into the jump, Aikins also took advantage of cutting-edge technology to help him in his aerial descent, reports Scientific American.

The key to Aikin’s success was his aerial navigation system, which helped him guide his flight trajectory so he could successfully land on the target net. Aikins was guided by a GPS module on his helmet that relayed his position to a guidance system on the ground. The guidance system tracked his progress and estimated his landing location based on his freefall trajectory. The system was connected to a series of lights around the target net that were white when he was on target and red when he strayed from the course. As he fell, Aikins could use the light-based signals to move his body into place for a successful landing. All this communication was done in real-time, allowing Aikins with just enough time to adjust his flight.

The idea for Aikins’s jump came from a friend and physiologist, Chris Talley, who worked with Aikins on previous jumps. Aikin at first refused Talley’s challenge due to concerns over how the dangerous nature of the jump would affect his family. After giving it more thought, Aikins changed his mind and began preparing for the world’s record jump.

Aikins freefell for more than two minutes before he flipped over to his back and safely landed on a 100 foot by 100-foot net that was suspended up to 20 stories high to accommodate the freefalling skydiver. When he landed, Aikins was traveling close to 150 miles per hour. The breathtaking stunt was captured on live television.

Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.