Skydiver begins daring bid to break sound barrier-A A +A
Monday, October 15, 2012
ROSWELL, New Mexico — Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner has jumped from a balloon 24 miles (38.6 kilometers) above Earth in a death-defying free fall that could make him the world's first supersonic skydiver.
Baumgartner climbed into the stratosphere in a pressurized capsule carried by a helium balloon Tuesday and then jumped into a near vacuum at about 128,000 feet (39,000 meters), or more than 24 miles (38.6 kilometers), high.
The total jump should take about 10 minutes.
It was unclear if he made any contact with the capsule when he jumped.
Any contact with it could tear the pressurized suit, a rip that could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 57 degrees Celsius.
It could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids.
Baumgartner expects to hit a speed of 690 mph (1,110 kph) before he activates his parachute. (AP)