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Entries in Stunts (2)

Wednesday
Jul252012

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner Completes 18-Mile Dive

Red Bull(ROSWELL, N.M.) -- Daredevil Felix Baumgartner this morning landed from his 18-mile dive back to Earth from the edge of space, in a plummet that reached a speed of 600 mph in 20 seconds.

Mission Control gave the go ahead this morning for the launch, saying "God Speed Felix" from Roswell, N.M., where the mission is being hosted. Baumgartner, an Austrian national, was lifted in a capsule carried afloat by a huge helium balloon.

The balloon took 90 minutes to get to 90,000 feet. The crane holding the capsule went up as fast as it could to get the capsule under the 210-foot tall balloon as it rose. After he jumped, Baumgartner was in freefall for five minutes. After five minutes, his parachute opened, at which point it took another seven to 10 minutes to descend to Earth.

"The pressure is huge, and we not only have to endure but excel," Baumgartner told ABC News before the jump. "We're excellently prepared, but it's never going to be a fun day. I'm risking my life, after all."

Red Bull is financing the daredevil skydive from space. The mission is named Stratos. It was five years of planning by a team of experts, many volunteering their services, to break several records in one breathtaking plunge back to Earth.

This was the second test dive for Baumgartner, who plans on a record-breaking jump from 125,000 feet, or 23 miles, next month.

The records "Fearless Felix" Baumgartner plans to break include those for the first person to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft, the record for freefall from the highest altitude, and that for the longest freefall time, expected to be five minutes and 35 seconds, and that for the highest-manned balloon flight.

Baumgartner would be breaking a 52-year-old record, and he recruited the man who set the record, the legendary retired Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger, for advice.

Kittinger jumped from a balloon Aug. 16, 1960, at an altitude of 102,900 feet, and fell for almost five minutes before opening a parachute to slow his descent at 18,000 feet.

He made history for the highest-balloon ascent, the highest parachute jump and the fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

Skydiver to Jump from Edge of Space Wednesday

Red Bull(ROSWELL, N.M.) -- It seems appropriate that Roswell, ground zero for UFO hunters, is hosting the mission to the edge of space because the sight of daredevil Felix Baumgartner diving back to Earth from 90 thousand feet will certainly spark new UFO conspiracy theories.

Baumgartner will go from zero to perhaps 509 mph in 30 seconds when he jumps from his space capsule. An attempt was scrubbed Tuesday morning because of high winds; another try could be made Wednesday.

He hit 365 mph when he jumped from 71,000 feet in March -- and he is expected to go supersonic in August when he dives from 120 thousand feet. That's zero to 690 mph in 25 seconds -- a human body breaking the sound barrier without an airplane. Most people go to the edge of space or beyond in a rocket. Baumgartner is going up in a capsule carried aloft by a huge helium balloon.

"The pressure is huge, and we not only have to endure but excel," he said. "We're excellently prepared, but it's never going to be a fun day, I'm risking my life, after all."

Red Bull is financing this daredevil skydive from space. The mission is named Stratos. Five years of planning by a team of experts, many volunteering their services, went into the jump, which is set to break several records in one breathtaking plunge back to Earth, including:

  • First person to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft.
  • Record for freefall from the highest altitude
  • Longest freefall time; five minutes 35 seconds approximately.
  • Highest manned balloon flight.

This daredevil dive from near space is not a first. The Austrian Baumgartner will be breaking a 52-year-old record if he succeeds, and he wisely recruited the man who set the record, the legendary Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger, for advice.

On Aug. 16, 1960, Kittinger jumped from a balloon at an altitude of 102,900 feet -- and fell for almost five minutes before opening a parachute to slow his descent at 18,000 feet. He made history for the highest balloon ascent, the highest parachute jump, and the fastest speed by a human being through the atmosphere.

"Somebody will beat them someday, but when they do it, they'll be doing it to beat a record," Kittinger said in a 2008 interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl. "We didn't make those records at the time just for that purpose"

He now says he is happy to cede his record to Baumgartner -- but joked, "I told him if he changes his mind, I am ready to take over for him."

Weather is critical because the massive balloon is fragile and tears easily; it can't launch with winds in excess of 4 mph or under heavy cloud cover.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio