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Felix Baumgartner – Skydiving From The Edge Space

Felix Baumgartner Prepares For Record Breaking Skydiving Jump.

For someone who thinks the Oblivion ride at Alton Towers is dangerously high, the thought of making a 22 mile skydive is obviously totally beyond reason, but that is precisely what one fearless daredevil is planning to do. On 9th October they will jump from the edge of space. The feat will be the long awaited culmination of Red Bull’s much hyped Stratos skydiving mission.

Felix Baumgartner Stratos Challenge: American skydiving record holder Joseph Kittinger leaps from a height of 31 kilometres, successfully skydiving back to planet earth

Skydiving Daredevil – Felix Baumgartner:

After thousands of hours spent planning this epic skydiving stunt, Felix Baumgartner is approaching the endgame for his 120,000 feet jump, which will see him freefall through the Earth’s atmosphere before reuniting with terra firma. State of the art technology is being employed to ensure the daredevil is given the best possible chance of succeeding in his skydiving mission without sustaining serious injury.

Baumgartner’s descent will involve passing through almost freezing, near-airless sections of the planet’s atmosphere. He will reach supersonic speeds as he plummets towards the planet from the fringes of space. It is hoped that he will make landfall somewhere close to Roswell in New Mexico, but given that his fall will be so pioneering, it is difficult to predict with any accuracy where the skydiver will actually end up.

So far Baumgartner has successfully undergone two test jumps, leaping from 96,640 feet. During his descent he reached speeds of 536 miles per hour, which, whilst fast, did not break the standing record for free fall speed. It took 3 minutes and 48 seconds before he reached the ground and he landed safely in New Mexico, near his target location of Roswell.

The current skydiving record was set way back in 1960 by US Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger. Kittinger made a successful jump from 102,800 feet, reaching an all-time record speed of 614 miles as he raced towards the Earth. Pressurization caused Kittinger to suffer some serious side-effects as he plummeted to the ground, including swelling of his right hand, which grew to approximately twice its normal size.

The risks of making such a dramatically high skydive remain huge despite advances in technology. This leads most sane individuals to question why anyone would be prepared to undertake such a dangerous challenge. The G-force of the descent alone could potentially knock Baumgartner out, making the possibility of tragedy a real possibility. However, the risk is balanced against the achievement involved in being the first to accomplish something so spectacular. If Baumgartner succeeds in his mission, he will achieve his place in history.

Credits

Photo: US Air Force – Public Domain – (PD-USGov-Military-Air Force)

Words: Al Cuin

Tags: 2012, Felix Baumgartner, Joseph Kittinger, Skydiving, space, Stratos

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