Jumping from a helium balloon in the stratosphere is a death-defying leap. That is what Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner is all set out to do - in an attempt to break not one, not two, but four records at the same time that have remained unbroken for more than 50 years.
The mission, named Red Bull Stratos, was originally scheduled for launch from Roswell, New Mexico, on Monday but was delayed for a day due to weather concerns.
As per the plan, Red Bull Stratos was all set for launch at approximately 6.30 a.m. local time in Roswell, New Mexico, on Tuesday (Oct.9). But again due to unfavorable wind conditions at ground level all the way through to about 750 feet, the mission team decided to delay the launch by approximately five hours to 11.40 a.m.
Finally even when the big moment arrived, the winds failed to calm down forcing the Red Bull Stratos mission to be aborted. The possible new launch days are being monitored by the mission team.
If all goes well as planned, Baumgartner's leap from the edge of space will surpass four records at the same time - the highest manned balloon flight 36,576 meters / 120,000 feet), the highest skydive, the first person to break the speed of sound during freefall, and the longest freefall (about 5 minutes 30 seconds), according to Red Bull Stratos website.
The current record for world's highest skydive is held by Colonel Joe Kittinger who made a freefall jump from 31,333 meters (102,800 feet) during his historic Excelsior III mission in 1960. Joe Kittinger now serves as an advisor for Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos mission.
While Kittinger's Excelsior III mission is said to have led to improvements in safety for people in near space environments as well as improvements in the development of space suits, Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos mission aims to provide valuable medical and scientific research data which will contribute to the understanding of survival in space.
Red Bull Stratos medical director Jonathan Clark says that the mission will be setting new standards for aviation because never before has anyone gone supersonic without being in an aircraft.
As Baumgartner gears up to step into the unknown, here's wishing him all the best for the adrenaline fuelled action!
Note: The article has been updated to reflect the current status of the Red Bull Stratos mission
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com