Austrian daredevil Feliz Baumgartner announced on Tuesday he will make the a record skydiving jump from a balloon 120,000 feet, or the edge of space, the BBC reported.
Baumgartner will perform the Red Bull Stratos mission, backed by the energy-drink Red Bull, which will aim to set a record for the longest, fastest, highest parachute jump ever, MSNBC reported. While the Daily Telegraph reported early this weekend he would make lift off from Roswell, New Mexico, a project spokeswoman told MSNBC it is too early to tell where and when it will happen. So far the team has said it will attempt to make it happen sometime in 2012.
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Red Bull made a similar announcement about two years ago, but the plan was put on hold in October 2010 due to a multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed in Los Angeles by the event’s promoter Daniel Hogan, MSNBC reported. Hogan said he owned “certain rights to the project" and Red Bull announced they wouldn’t let the jump happen until the case was cleared up. But the two parties reached an out-of-court settlement in July, putting Red Bull back on track for the stunt.
Baumgartner is known for his stunts, such as jumping off of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
"We're going up to 120,000 feet in a pressurised capsule hanging underneath a helium balloon and at altitude the balloon will level off,” Baumgartner said, the Daily Telegraph reported. "I'm going to step off that capsule, fall down for a couple of minutes and hopefully I'm going to break the speed of sound."
According to the Daily Telegraph, this technically means that after 35 seconds he expects to break the sound barrier and then at 5,000 feet will deploy a parachute and land safely on the ground. It will take him about 10 minutes to make it back to earth and he will travel at more than 690 miles per hour in a special suit which will protect him from the extreme temperatures, which will be as low as -94 degrees Farenheit. Baumgartner will have to rely on oxygen tanks since the air is too thin to breathe. He’ll also have to hope that the sheer force of the fall won’t cause him to blackout.
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Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger still holds the current parachute-jump record for the last 52 years, MSNBC reported. Kittinger jumped 102,800 feet during the Air Force’s “Excesior III” stratospheric test project. He will be one of Baumgartner’s advisers.
The adventurous Austrian told the BBC that while he’s excited for the jump, his mom wasn’t too happy about it.