Austrian daredevil plans to break world record, sound barrier in August

21st, 2012
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Austrian helicopter pilot Felix Baumgartner is planning to skydive in August from37,000 metersabove the Earth and break the sound barrier.

World renowned daredevil and skydiver Baumgartner, 42, hopes to break a 52-year-old altitude record with his Red Bull-sponsored jump.

It will take a giant helium balloon three hours to rise to37,000 meters, where Baumgartner will leap from the capsule. The freefall will last about 10 minutes, during which Baumgartner will reach speeds of more than1,110 kilometersper hour.

The four-time altitude and freefall world record breaker will not deploy his parachute until he is around1,500 metersfrom the ground.

Baumgartner will rely on an astronaut-like suit and oxygen tanks to keep him alive. More than two years have gone into designing Baumgartner’s suit so that it can withstand temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius. The tanks contain enough oxygen to last 20 minutes.

Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, is8,848 metershigh. Most commercial airliners fly at an altitude of10,668 meters.

In the next few months, he will make two test jumps at lower altitudes as he prepares for his record-breaking jump in August.

Baumgartner’s team is expected to formally announce this week that he will make the world record attempt above New Mexico in August. Baumgartner had planned to make the jump last year but it was postponed after a promoter alleged the record attempt was his idea and took legal action. The claims have since been put to rest.

The daredevil already has four more world records up his sleeve.

The current altitude record belongs to US Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger, who jumped from31,000 metersmore than 50 years ago.

Resource: Today’s Zaman

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