It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
"I like to challenge myself, and this is the ultimate skydive. I think there's nothing bigger than that." - Felix Baumgartner
Felix Baumgartner, Austrian skydiver extraordinaire, is now officially part of a very small and exclusive club that is made up of exactly 3 people. What's so special about this club? Well, for one thing, each member of this trio has now completed a 70,000-plus-foot free fall, which basically implies that these men have literally jumped from the 'edge of space!'
What makes this 42-year-old daredevil's feat even more impressive than his counterparts is that he did this jump in mere preparation for his real goal--a 120,000-foot 'space jump,' which would make him the world record holder in this category.
Currently, this title is held by United States Air Force Captain, Joe Kittinger, who jumped from a height of 102,800 feet way back in 1960! Considering the kind of technological evolution we've witnessed since then, Baumgartner's dream could become a reality soon enough.
He lifted off on March 15, aboard a pressurized capsule attached to a helium balloon and upon reaching a height of 71,581 feet, he did the unthinkable--he stepped right off it! He then plummeted towards Earth in a seriously long free fall (that lasted 3 minutes and 51 seconds), reaching speeds of upto 364.4 mph.
He deployed his parachute at about 7,890 feet. In another 4 minutes--and a total of 8 minutes and 8 seconds since he jumped off the plane--'Fearless Felix' landed safely about 48 km from Roswell, New Mexico.
The place where he jumped off from was actually a thin, frigid slice of air in the Earth's stratosphere and hence, it is hardly surprising that Baumgartner found the extreme cold he experienced in this segment of the atmosphere the toughest part of the entire expedition. Luckily for him, he was wearing a custom-designed space suit for the dive. This outfit was specifically designed to withstand frigid temperatures.
With 2,500 jumps behind him and even a face-first leap into a 620-foot-deep cave in Croatia--his most dangerous feat yet--the incredible daredevil is all set to outdo any and all previous feats. After one more trial jump from 90,000 feet in a few weeks, Felix will set his sights directly on the space jump. And if all goes according to plan, he'll achieve that feat with ease as well!
Since the last person who broke the record (Kittinger) nearly broke through the sound barrier, even NASA has taken a huge interest in this project, which is being sponsored by Red Bull and is called 'Red Bull Stratos.'
Judging by how well his latest jump went, we can only hope that this ex-military parachutist accomplishes this mind-boggling feat!
Here's a video of Felix Baumgartner's amazing jump:
-Pictures courtesy national geographic and digitaljourney.com-
you might also like
With Skyfall, director Sam Mendes mixes the old an...
If Bollywood ever went down the 007 agent route, w...