Free Falling: Man Plans Record-Breaking 120,000-Foot Jump
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A man is hoping to break the world record for the highest jump in history – by leaping from the very edge of space, at the Earth’s stratosphere.
According to National Public Radio, Austrian pilot and skydiver Felix Baumgartner plans to jump from a staggering height of 23 miles – which equals out to just over 121,000 feet.
From that height, Baumgartner will reach a speed of over 700 miles per hour as he free-falls toward Earth, and will come close to breaking the sound barrier in the process.
The jump, which will reportedly start from far above Roswell, N.M., will be executed following a detailed plan.
“I show up at 2 o’clock in the morning, so the first thing that we’re going to do is a medical check. Then I’m getting dressed up,” he told NPR, adding that his suit will be his only protection once he exits the space capsule. “Then I have to breathe … 100 percent oxygen to get rid of all the nitrogen bubbles in my blood system.”
It will allegedly take him over two hours to reach his intended height.
The capsule itself must also be carefully depressurized before the drop.
“Then your suit will getting pressurized at the same moment to make up for that pressure loss because you need the pressure suit up at 120,000 feet,” he told NPR. “Otherwise, your blood will start to boil.”
Once he’s ready, he will have to jump quickly, as the system only provides the oxygen necessary for 10 minutes.
Baumgartner has completed a drop of 72,000 feet in the past.
He noted that these extreme-altitude dives are significantly different from the skydiving performed by most people, mainly due to the added height.
With some lamentation, Baumgartner added that it reportedly feels similar to skydiving though, in regards to speed.
The record-holder at present is Joe Kittenger, who completed a dive 18,000 feet shy of Baumgartner’s intended jump in 1960, according to WebProNews.com.