Baumgartner Jump Scheduled to Happen Next Monday
Felix Baumgartner made a successful preliminary test jump from 71,580 feet on March 15, 2012.
October 4, 2012 - Weather permitting, Felix Baumgartner will attempt to eclipse one of the all-time aviation records on October 8 in Roswell, New Mexico, when he parachutes to the ground from an altitude of 120,000 feet - almost 23 miles - from the Red Bull Stratos space capsule.
Red Bull Stratos Technical Project Director Art Thompson announced Monday that repair work on the space capsule has been completed after it was damaged by a hard landing during a preliminary jump in July. Baumgartner, 43, will attempt to break the freefall record (100,000 feet) set in 1960 by Joe Kittinger as well as establish four other world records including the first person to break the sound barrier in freefall.
The team is cautiously optimistic about the launch date as perfect weather conditions are needed for the 855,000-cubic-meter helium balloon, made of a thin plastic one-tenth as thick as a Ziploc baggie, according to Red Bull Stratos. "Early fall in New Mexico is one of the best times of the year to launch stratospheric balloons," according to mission meteorologist Don Day.
The team hopes to collect data that could enhance space travel safety and enable high-altitude escapes from spacecraft.
The July jump was from more than 97,000 feet and Baumgartner was freefalling at speeds of up to 536 mph. Read more about the Red Bull Stratos team effort.