Recent News Articles
Daredevil attempts 23-mile skydive
Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner was attempting Sunday to break the record for world’s highest-ever skydive.
Baumgartner lifted off from Roswell, N.M., at 9:31 a.m. MDT in a 55-story helium-filled balloon. He planned to ascend 120,000 feet above the New Mexico desert before jumping out and attempting to break the sound barrier at speeds near 590 mph during his plunge back to Earth, Baumgartner’s sponsor Red Bull Stratos announced.
The record-breaking free fall was originally scheduled for last Tuesday, but high winds twisted his balloon — made from a material 1-10th the thickness of a sandwich bag — and ruined it, CNN said.
Project meteorologist Don Day told CNN Saturday the weather conditions for Sunday look favorable for a successful jump. He said he’s keeping an eye on potentially stronger winds at higher altitudes, including possible wind speeds of more than 100 mph at the jet stream level.
The ascent to 120,000 feet could take as long as 3 hours, officials said. When Baumgartner reaches the right altitude, he plans to jump from the capsule and plummet to Earth in a harrowing free fall that will make him the first skydiver to break the sound barrier.
If he does, he would also break a record set in 1960 by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from an open gondola 19.5 miles up but came just shy of breaking the sound barrier.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International