Baumgartner Completes Second Practice "Spaceflight" Jump
On July 25, daredevil Felix Baumgartner completed the second and last practice jump before his attempt to be the first human to break the speed of sound in freefall from a high altitude balloon at 120,000 feet.
According to the website of Red Bull Stratos, sponsoring the feat, Baumgartner jumped from 96,640 feet and reached 536 miles per hour while spending 3 minutes and 48 seconds in freefall before deploying his parachute and landing in Roswell, New Mexico. “So picture yourself flying the same speed as a 737 jet, only without the aircraft body," read an announcement following the jump.
A test run earlier this year involved a jump from more than 71,500 feet in the stratosphere, during which Baumgartner, who was wearing a specialized spacesuit, reached a top speed of 364 mph before deploying his parachute.
These tests are the latest developments in preparation of a so-called commercial “spaceflight” jump from “the edge of space” as Red Bull Stratus proclaims. In addition to setting several new records, including longest freefall, the stunt aims to contribute medical and scientific data that could support future human spaceflight missions, including the development of next generation space suits and of protocols for high altitude and high acceleration exposure.
Although the specific date for the jump has not been announced, an article on Fox News quotes the team as saying it will take place “shortly after the completion of the final manned test jump.” That presumably is the test jump that just took place, so could occur anytime.
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