The world is watching today as Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner attempts to be the first human being to jump from 120,000 feet down to Earth.
"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."
Follow along as we watch Felix Baumgartner make history.
LIVE video footage here:
PolicyMic is following the jump live. Bookmark and refresh this page for the most recent updates.
2:26 pm: Baumgartner's tweets from earlier in the day. Many sent while he was floating above the Earth:
2:24 pm: Baumgartner when he's not flying through space:
2:22 pm: Mission Accomplished.
2:17 pm: And he's on the ground!!
2:14 pm: Baumgartner is currently at 6,000 feet. Here he is:
2:12 pm: The parachute has opened and he is traveling down to Earth.
2:12 pm: His visor is fogging up he is telling ground control.
2:11 pm: Baumgartner is speaking as he descends.
2:09 pm: He is in a stable decent. Everyone is saying it's "reassuring." He is ok.
2:08pm: He is traveling at 725 mph.
2:08 pm: And he jumped!!!!
2:04 pm: The door is open.
2:03 pm: We need to keep our eyes peeled for the emergency parachute. If we don't see it, that's a good sign for Baumgartner.
2:01 pm: He still has 28,000 feet to go.
2:00 pm: Air outside the capsule is so thin it's a vacuum. It is critical he avoid any fast spin when he jumps.
1:59 pm: Depressurizing cabin. Man on controls just said "Okay Felix, from now on it gets really serious."
1:57 pm: Almost 7 million people are watching this on YouTube right now.
1:56 pm: Waiting for the suit to pressurize.
1:55 pm: The balloon is currently at 127,760 feet. Baumgartner is on item 20 of his egress checklist.
1:54 pm: I'm actually getting claustrophobic seeing him in that capsule.
1:53 pm: In order to avoid uncontrollable spin and blackout when he jumps, Baumgartner will have to hold a particular position.
1:51 pm: Live image of the egress check list underway.
1:49 pm: The egress check list is currently underway.
1:47 pm: The capsule is being depressurized in anticipation of Baumgartner's jump. He is currently at 24 miles above Earth.
1:45 pm: The meteroligist is suggesting the capsule continue to climb. The balloon is approaching 125,000 feet.
1:43 pm: Live image from inside the capsule. The balloon is reaching its maximum altitude.
1:40 pm: Baumgartner is going through the egress check list in preparation of his jump. The decision has been made, he wil jump.
1:38 pm: Baumgartner is trouble shooting issues with a faulty face plate. The plate is down to protect him from the glare of the sun. Baumgartner is tweeting from inside the capsule.
1:34 pm: The flight has been underway for 2 hours and 3 minutes. The guess is that it will take 2 hours and 18 minutes until he gets to 120,000 feet.
1:33 pm: Balloon is currently at the highest any human being has ever gone in a balloon. He is currently 21 miles above Earth.
1:31 pm: Live photo from inside the capsule:
1:29 pm: Photos of the balloon from earlier in the day: