Even if I am a few days behind the curve on this one, I still wanted to recognize the recent accomplishment of Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team. While some have complained that Baumgartner's freefall to earth from higher than anyone had ever jumped was nothing more than a publicity stunt, it produced a number of data points which could guide the direction of space programs and exploration in the future. It has also served as one of those rare events which adds to the social capital of the human race - as any act which successfully stretches the boundaries of the human mind and body invariably does. That is was a marketing masterstroke by Red Bull (continuing the company's series of long-term successes) can't be held against it - the company certainly spent enough money on the cause and certainly faced risks in the event that something didn't go quite right. Anyone who hasn't had the chance to see just how amazing this whole feat was can get the highlights in the video below.