An Austrian daredevil named Felix Baumgartner has been working on an epic stunt in conjunction with Red Bull.
Yes, Baumgartner wants to jump out of a balloon hovering at 125,000 feet above the earth. So far, Baumgartner and his team have made multiple practice jumps from various altitudes, including 63,000 feet back in March.
This past week, Baumgartner made another practice jump from a significantly higher altitude – 96,640 feet above the New Mexico desert.
Baumgartner was in freefall for a total of three minutes and 48 seconds, reaching a top speed of 536 mph before opening his parachute.
Baumgartner then safely floated to the ground 10 minutes and 30 seconds after leaping from his capsule.
96,640 feet above the surface of the earth is certainly a long way up, but that’s nothing compared to Baumgartner’s ultimate goal. Currently, the world record for the highest altitude skydive is 102,800 feet and was set back in 1960 by US Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who currently works with Baumgartner and his Red Bull Stratos team as an advisor.
Baumgartner is using a custom-made pressure suit to survive the high altitude jumps. As expected, he has run into issues with his equipment in previous test jumps, but there was no indication of any problems with the latest practice jump.
“The pressure is huge, and we not only have to endure but excel,” Baumgartner told ABC News before his jump. “We’re excellently prepared, but it’s never going to be a fun day. I’m risking my life, after all.”