Did you know:
Colonel Dr John Paul Stapp was a research officer at Edwards Air Force Base
in California and, during the 1950s, investigated the effects of
acceleration and deceleration on the human body, namely his own. He built a
rocket powered sled and rode it 29 times, during which he suffered among
many less serious injuries, concussion, retinal detachments, a hernia,
several broken ribs, and two broken wrists.
In his final ride, in 1954 at the age of 43, he and his sled accelerated
from rest to 632 mph in 5 secs. But the test wasn't to see how fast it
could go, it was to see how fast it could stop. From considerably faster
than the cruising speed of a Boeing 747, he came to rest in 1.4 secs.
During that time, Stapp decelerated at 40G. When he came round, he found
that he was blinded on account of his eyeballs becoming temporarily fused
to their lids. It was 30 years before anyone travelled faster on the
surface of the planet. Incredibly, Stapp died peacefully at home four years
ago at the age of 92. So who says speed kills?