Right at this very moment (Tuesday 9th October) Felix Baumgartner is preparing himself to beat a world record created over 50 years ago by a man called Joseph Kittinger. Baumgartner will be jumping out of a balloon at more than 120,000ft (36.5km) above Roswell, New Mexico. That’s 17,200ft (5.2km) higher than Kittinger’s jump in August 1960 – skydiving taken to its extreme!
Baumgartner has come a long way since his world champion title for BASE jumping in 1997 (West Virginia, US), as well as being the first person to do a winged freefall crossing of the English Channel in 2003! One of his latest world records in 2007, saw him BASE jumping from the Taipei Tower in Taiwan – at 1669ft, the world’s tallest building…but it seems Baumgartner wasn’t quite satisfied with that, and had to take it further… much, much further.
Today, Baumgartner is going to freefall from Space. The 43-year-old Austrian will be risking his life in the aim to break a ton of world records – highest manned balloon flight, longest freefall, highest jump and depending on the temperature he may even be the first human, unaided by a vehicle, to break the sound barrier at around 690 mph.
I’m sat here waiting and watching the live updates in amazement! I can’t even begin to imagine how Baumgartner must be feeling right now, let alone how he managed to get the guts to do it. This is beginning to make a skydive look like a walk in the park!
On the other hand, waiting for this record breaking moment is really giving me the urge to go skydiving…lets hope ‘Jo on the Road‘ plans to head there soon…but at a smaller scale!
(Previous test jump)
Go check out his pre-jump timeline!
UPDATE – Wednesday 10th October
Due to high winds the jump had to be postponed! The 23-mile free fall will be rescheduled, but it’s still unsure when for.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE UPDATES
UPDATE – Monday 15th October
Felix Baumgartner successfully completed the jump yesterday – 23 miles above the Earth and he broke the sound barrier! Congratulations Felix! Wonder what he has planned next…
Here’s a recap of the jump!