“You know, the world needs a hero… and today it got one.”
- Jonathan Clark, M.D., Red Bull Stratos Medical Director
Earlier today… this:
After years of preparation, two “practice” jumps and one aborted launch attempt due to uncooperative weather, extreme BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner successfully ascended to over 128,000 feet in a pressurized capsule and jumped, freefalling for 4 minutes and 20 seconds before opening his chute at 6,000 feet.
If like millions of people around the world you were watching the event live, you too can attest to the fact that it was, in a word, incredible.
UPDATE: Today is the second launch attempt for the Red Bull Stratos “Mission to the Edge of Space.”
Regardless if you would do it or not, today Red Bull Stratos BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner will ride a high-tech pressurized capsule into the stratosphere and jump out at 120,000 feet — 22 miles/36 km — becoming the highest, fastest freefaller in history. (Watch a simulation of Felix’s 700 mph supersonic fall here.)
At this time the weather at the Roswell, New Mexico launch site has pushed the launch time to 11:45 a.m. EDT due to winds at 700 feet, which is the height of their enormous launch balloon.
(Feed has been in and out… if it’s not working, you can also watch live on Discovery Channel on cable TV.)
NOTE: The launch is now slated for 9:45 a.m. MDT/11:45 p.m. EDT, still pending winds.
Image and video courtesy of Red Bull Stratos
The light is GREEN, all systems are GO… on October 8, 2012, pilot and extreme BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner will perform a record-breaking freefall from a capsule at the staggering altitude of 120,000 feet — that’s over 22 miles (36.5 kilometers) up! On the way down Baumgartner will go supersonic, setting both height and speed records for a human body in freefall.
Sponsored by the popular energy drink, Felix’s Red Bull Stratos mission will not only break the standing record held by his mentor Joe Kittinger, but also provide valuable scientific data to how the body handles such extreme conditions — invaluable to researchers developing next-generation hardware for human space exploration.
Still, data aside, the jump has its inherent dangers and, of course, its thrills… for Felix as well as the millions of people who will be watching the event from the ground.
“AT 120,000 FT, AIR PRESSURE IS NEARLY NONEXISTENT. FOR FELIX THIS MEANS 99% OF THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE IS OUT OF REACH – UNTIL HE JUMPS.”
So here’s a question for you: if you had the support and backing of a dedicated and specialized team like Baumgartner’s, would YOU jump from the edge of space? Answer below or leave a comment — you may be featured in a future article!
Remember… it’s a long, cold ride down, but what a view! (And how else are we to learn how to fight off axe-wielding Romulans on space mining platforms in the future??)
Not sure what you’d do? Check out the video below from his March 15 test jump from “only” 71,500 feet:
Find out more about the Red Bull Stratos mission here.