In a few hours, extreme athlete and skydiver Felix Baumgartner will attempt to become the first human to break the sound barrier jumping out of a balloon at more than 120,000ft/36.5km above Roswell, New Mexico.
The mission called Red Bull Stratos, will attempt to transcend human limits that have existed for 50 years. Supported by a team of experts Felix Baumgartner plans to ascend to 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and make a freefall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground. His attempt to dare atmospheric limits holds the potential to provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers.
Felix consistently challenges his personal limits while pushing the physical boundaries of human flight. In 2003, Felix completed an unprecedented flight across the English Channel with a carbon wing, and subsequently began to consider an even bigger goal: the supersonic freefall. With a team of the world’s top scientists, engineers and doctors behind him, Felix will attempt to rewrite history and advance aeronautical research with Red Bull Stratos.
“On a mission like this, you need to be mentally fit and have total control over what you do, and I’m preparing very thoroughly.”
Covered from takeoff to touchdown by more than 35 cameras in the air and on the ground, the live online broadcast will provide a firsthand experience of the entire mission (weather permitting).
You can watch the live broadcast starting in three hours here: http://www.redbullstratos.com/live/
About Felix Baumgartner
Born in Salzburg, Austria in 1969, Felix began skydiving at the age of 16 and polished his skills as part of the Austrian military’s demonstration and competition team. In 1988, he began performing skydiving exhibitions for Red Bull. The company’s out-of-the-box thinking and Felix’s adventurous spirit clicked, and they’ve collaborated ever since.
By the 1990s, Felix felt that he’d gone as far as he could with traditional skydiving, so he extended his canopy skills with BASE jumping – parachuting from a fixed object or landform. He finds that the lightning-fast reflexes and precise techniques required by such low-altitude feats also enhance his high-altitude skydiving technique.
Felix has made world-record BASE jumps and has been nominated for a World Sports Award and two categories in the NEA Extreme Sports Awards. He is also a prominent advocate for the nonprofit Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation. And, while he acknowledges that the Red Bull Stratos mission is a step into the unknown, his determination to reach the edge of space and break the speed of sound is unshakable. “If Red Bull Stratos is successful, we can share data that hasn’t been available ever before,” Felix states. “I would be proud to be able to make such a contribution.”