by Staff Writers
London (IANS) Feb 08, 2012
An Austrian skydiver will try to break the sound barrier during a free fall from a balloon on the edge of space later this year, The Telegraph reported Sunday.
Felix Baumgartner will be the first person to do so. Baumgartner will leap from a balloon, plummeting to the ground 120,000 feet below.
After 35 seconds he will break the sound barrier, and finally, at 5,000 feet he will deploy a parachute and - hopefully - land safely on the ground.
During his 10-minute journey to earth the Austrian will travel at over 690 miles per hour inside a special suit, which must protect him from temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius, the newspaper said.
He will rely on its oxygen tanks as the air is too thin to breathe - and hope that the sheer force of the fall does not make him black out.
The record breaking jump was expected to take place in August above New Mexico.
Baumgartner, who in 2003 became the first person to "skydive" across the English Channel, will undertake two test jumps at 60,000 feet and 90,000 feet over the coming months to make sure the specialised equipment he is using will help him survive.
Writing on his blog about being given the chance to make the jump, Baumgartner said: "I am struggling to find the right words to express my happiness, how relieved and motivated I am."
Baumgartner said he hoped his stunt would help provide valuable information about how humans will cope in the future with space tourism and open up new types of extreme sports such as space diving, the Telegraph added.
The skydive, which is being sponsored by energy drink manufacturer Red Bull, will attempt to break four world records - the highest altitude freefall, the highest manned balloon flight, the longest distance travelled in freefall and the speed record for the fastest freefall.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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