The Physics of Kirk’s Star Trek Car Jump

Remember the moment from the movie trailer for JJ AbramsStar Trek when young James T Kirk grabbed onto the ledge after jumping out of car as it plunged off the cliff? Well the geniuses over at Popular Science have figured out if Kirk’s jump would be possible in real life.

The car is traveling about 32 meters per second off the cliff. Kirk is moving at an estimated speed of 28 m/s towards the cliff edge. Of course, the Popular Science article uses all sorts of complicated equations to figure this out (some of which are seen in the photo above). The conclusion is that James T. Kirk would have to exert a force of almost 900 pounds with his fingers to stop from being flung over the precipice. This would probably be impossible for most humans, but of course — not for Captain Kirk. You can read the whole physics calculation over on PopSci.com.

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