On Sunday, in Roswell, New Mexico, a living being is going to plummet through the Earth’s atmosphere to the ground.
It won’t be an alien but Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver who will be jumping from a pressurized capsule suspended by a balloon 120,000 feet in the “air” (if you can call it that). That’s nearly 23 miles in the sky. It’s being put on by Red Bull Stratos and it hopes to make Baumgartner the first person to free fall through the speed of sound. Baumgartner attempted the jump earlier in the week but it was postponed due to weather.
If Felix’s fall back to Earth is a success it would break Joe Kittinger’s record-breaking jump from a balloon in 1960 at 102,900 feet altitude. Kittinger is Baumgartner’s coach this time around so hopefully some of his luck rubs off. Oh June 25, Felix completed a practice jump from 90,000 feet. Of course with a jump from 30,000 feet higher there are a number of things that could go wrong. Luckily it seems Red Bull has financed him a suit that could deal with most problems to that could come Felix’s way. At least that’s what Red Bull says.
Baumgartner will be in free fall nearly 5 minutes and will reach speeds up to 690 mph. It may not be as world shattering as aliens, but it could be three records all being broken in a single jump. And if the time it took to break them since last time is any indication, then Felix Baumgartner will hold those records for quite a longtime.