Dayvan Cowboy Video

In case you missed it in the links for Podcast 24, this video for the Boards of Canada song “Dayvan Cowboy” is my idea of a music video.

Update: The balloon jump footage is of Joseph Kittinger’s record-breaking jump in 1960 as part of Project Excelsior.

I also came across this other video set to the same piece of music. In this one, you get to ride aboard the left solid rocket booster during a shuttle launch, including liftoff, SRB separation, and splashdown. Fun!

7 Responses to “Dayvan Cowboy Video”

  1. ymatt Says:

    Ahh, yeah, Dayvan Cowboy is my favorite BoC song in a long time and that’s a really stunning video for it.

  2. shcb Says:

    Not my cup of tea musically, but what an incredible video, I imagine it is really impressive on a tv screen. The guy jumping from the weather balloon, I assume that is really done, how high are they when they jump? I had never seen that before.

  3. jbc Says:


    From there:

    The third and final test, Excelsior III, was made on August 16, 1960. During the ascent the pressure seal in Kittinger’s right glove failed, and he began to experience severe pain in his right hand. He decided not to inform the ground crew about this, in case they should decide to abort the test. Despite temporarily losing the use of his right hand, he continued with the ascent, climbing to an altitude 102,800 feet (31,300 m).[2] The ascent took one hour and 31 minutes and broke the previous manned balloon altitude record of 101,516 feet (30,942 m), which was set by Major David Simons as part of Project Manhigh in 1957. Kittinger stayed at peak altitude for 12 minutes, waiting for the balloon to drift over the landing target area. He then stepped out of the gondola to begin his descent.

    The small stabilizer chute deployed successfully and Kittinger fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds,[2] setting a still-standing world record for the longest parachute free-fall (although some authorities do not count this as a free-fall record because of the use of the stabilizer chute). At an altitude of 17,500 feet (5,300 m), Kittinger opened his main chute and landed safely in the New Mexico desert. The whole descent took 13 minutes and 45 seconds[3] and set the current world record for the highest parachute jump.

    During the descent, Kittinger experienced temperatures as low as -94 °F (-70 °C). In the free-fall stage he reached a top speed that is variously estimated as 214 to 250 meters per second;[citation needed] in later interviews, Kittinger put his top speed at 714 mph (319 m/s).[2][3] As the speed of sound is lower in the upper atmosphere than at ground level, this means he was traveling at transonic, and perhaps supersonic, speeds. Despite this, Kittinger said he had no sensation of speed until he approached the cloud deck.

  4. ymatt Says:

    That second video is pretty great too, in a remarkably similar way. For some reason I was expecting the camera to cut out on splashdown, but I love that you get to see it go underwater, then pop back up as the parachute lines settle on the water.

    Oh and that bit about Kittinger’s transonic speed is a little misleading. Yes, the Mach number is lower at higher altitude, but the air pressure is *much* lower, so while he may have been developing a shock cone, it was certainly a very weak one. Terminal velocity is terminal velocity, so he wouldn’t have really “felt” much difference. Not that that isn’t still bloody impressive. Mmm… HALO jumping.

  5. shcb Says:

    incredible, thanks.

  6. enkidu Says:

    I played that over and over – the shuttle launch was inspiring!
    love the bit right around 2:00 where the srbs are let go and the cam starts tumbling… smoke… sea… clouds… horizon… stars… and a handful of the best and brightest of humanity rides a shooting star skyward. The brightest star in the heavens.

    The kids loved it!

    We slept out under the stars on Friday night and saw 4 satellites (or space debris). One was orbiting in the opposite direction as the others, I told the kids that might be the space station (tho I doubt it as these seemed to be polar orbits). I agree with ant, our skies have too much light pollution. There is a move to have SF turn off all its lights coming up (some time this week?)

    great links jbc

  7. szyzyg Says:

    Hi, I’m the guy that put the shuttle video together and I’d just like to point out that I basicly did nothing to it, I was listening to the Blue Room one morning and watching the video and noticed the music synced up perfectly so – I put the two together with no editing.
    I should point out that the original video does have a cut in it, normally the boosters take a lot longer for the SRB’s to splashdown.

    I have another video on a similar theme and different music

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