Friday, September 28, 2012

Skydiver plans record-breaking 'space jump'

An Austrian daredevil plans to leap from nearly 23 miles above the Earth on Oct. 8 in a supersonic plunge that, if successful, will be the world's highest-ever skydive. If all goes according to plan, a helium-filled balloon will lift off from Roswell, N.M., and carry Felix Baumgartner's custom-built capsule to an altitude of 120,000 feet. The daredevil will then step out of the capsule into the void, breaking a skydiving record that has stood for 52 years. The current record for world's highest skydive stands at 102,800 feet. It was set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger, who serves as an adviser for Baumgartner's mission.

If Baumgartner succeeds, he will break not only that mark but also the sound barrier, becoming the first skydiver ever to fall at supersonic speeds, During a July 25 practice jump, Baumgartner's top freefall speed was 537 mph — about as fast as a commercial airliner. Now that's taking adventure to the extreme!

Is Baumbartner the ultimate daredevil ... or just plain crazy?

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