Mr Baumgartner’s commercial sponsor for his recent leap was Red Bull. We here on the Reg space desk don’t drink a whole lot of Red Bull anyway, but as long as Baumgartner remains connected with the firm we shall drink none, and we encourage our readers to adopt a similar stance. (Unless maybe he offers a complete retraction of his words.)
This is because we are sick of the blinkered attitude which always seeks to divert space exploration money – which is in any event only a tiny proportion of the US or any other government’s spending – to this or that hobbyhorse. Baumgartner presumably wants to see NASA’s budget (and with it that of the ESA etc) diverted into renewable power subsidies or some such money-pit: others depending on their politics have often pushed the idea of channelling space cash towards minuscule improvements to benefits, minuscule tax cuts or other such pointless ends.