This week, Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team hope to stage a successful "spacedive" that will shatter the seemingly-unbeatable record set by Joe Kittinger in 1960 as part of Project Excelsior.
Baumgartner will jump from the capsule at approximately 120,000 feet (23 miles) above the Earth's surface -- 17, 200 feet more than Kittinger's 1960 jump from 102,800 feet (19 miles). If he succeeds, Baumgartner is set to become the first human being ever to break the sound barrier during a skydive, with the the team expecting him to cross the 690 miles-per-hour barrier on his way down to Earth, and will also enjoy a number of new world records. Following a successful jump, Felix will become the new world record holder for longest time in free fall (estimated at five and a half minutes), and also pick up the record for longest ever manned-balloon travel.
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The manned capsule which will take Baumgartner all the way up to 120,000 feet above sea level has been in development for more than seven years, and almost wasn't ready for its big moment on Monday. A test of the system in early September, which enabled Baumgartner to successfully jump from 97, 145.7 feet, revealed poorly performing parachutes that led to quite the rough landing for Baumgartner's capsule. After some additional work, the Stratos team announced that the capsule was ready on September 24, and Baumgartner is preparing for his third and final attempt at breaking Kittinger's record. The jump was scheduled to take place Monday, October 8, but it has since been pushed back 24 hours to October 9 (Tuesday).
Interested in watching Felix Baumgartner's attempt to shatter a number of skydiving records? Head over to the Red Bull Stratos website, where Felix and his crew will be livestreaming the entire event.
Update: The Red Bull Stratos team has announced that the jump has been rescheduled for 6:00 a.m. (PST) / 8:00 (EST) on October 14.