Skydiving from Space? It's Happening.
Published on 06/28/2012
By Shelby Trueax
With guidance from the current world record holder for longest jump, Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger, Felix Baumgartner is preparing for the ballsiest, most off-the-wall stunt in recent history: skydiving from the edge of space. The project is called Red Bull Stratos and will use NASA-like technology to house Felix in a pressurized stratospheric balloon on the way up and outfit him in a pressurized suit (which is required over 50,000 feet) similar to those used by U-2 pilots. Baumgartner has recently completed extensive high altitude training, jumping from higher and higher altitudes to build up to his 23-mile-above-the-earth plunge, which is likely to occur within the next couple months.
This Austrian daredevil means business; if he’s trying to smash the 52-year-old world record, he’s going to do it in style. Why not break another world record in the process? Jumping from roughly 120,000 feet above Earth will amount to about 10 minutes time, during which Baumgartner will surpass the speed of sound at over 700 MPH. If that isn’t fast, then we don’t know what its.
Due to the generally favorable weather forecast, Roswell, New Mexico, is the chosen destination for this insane stunt. Altitude, temperature, and pressure are not forces to be reckoned with when it comes to skydiving, so favorable outdoor conditions are a necessity for Baumgartner’s safety. The wind speed in Roswell is lowest in the summer months, which explains the timing.
Red Bull Stratos hopes that Baumgartner’s initiative will promote things like space tourism and extreme altitude destinations to further the use of their innovative technology, which has been developing for the past seven years. Stay tuned, Active Junkies, and maybe, before you know it, we’ll see you in space. Keep pushing the limits until then!