Lifestyle‎ > ‎

Skydiver ready for upcoming edge of space plunge

posted 25 Sept 2012, 13:09 by Mpelembe   [ updated 25 Sept 2012, 13:09 ]

All systems are 'go' for skydiver Felix Baumgartner's world record breaking attempt to go supersonic when he jumps from the edge of space on October 8.

The countdown is on for skydiver Felix Baumgartner's attempt to break the world record for the highest altitude skydive when he jumps from the edge of space 23 miles above the earth on October 8.
The Red Bull Stratos space capsule has passed high-altitude simulation testing after being damaged during otherwise successful testing. Baumgartner is now almost ready to launch his record breaking attempt to beat a 52-year-old record set by Joe Kittinger.

"Doing something like this, breaking the speed of sound, breaking Joe Kittinger's record has always been my dream since I was a little kid. And I'm so happy that Red Bull are supporting this idea for so many years," Baumgartner said.

A giant balloon will carry Baumgartner to an altitude of 23 miles over New Mexico, from where he will leap into space wearing a high-tech pressure suit. The 43-year-old aviation pioneer completed a final test jump from a near-record altitude of 29,610 meters in July - during which Baumgartner was freefalling at speeds of up to 864 kilometers per hour, or as fast as a commercial airliner. The Austrian landed safely in another part of the New Mexico desert, but his ascent capsule suffered a hard landing on rough terrain.

 The vessel was shipped back to Sage Cheshire Aerospace in California where it underwent emergency repairs to ensure a Mission attempt could take place this year.

The final countdown for Baumgartner's history making jump from the edge of space began on Monday (September 24) after the Red Bull Stratos Technical Project Director Art Thompson declared the repaired space capsule is fit and all systems are go.

"The countdown's on, we're really excited. We're literally only about two weeks away from having this whole thing done," Thompson said. "We're going to have about a week and a half of preparation to get the capsule into place and all the flight systems in place. And then on October 8 we're going to open the flight window."