At the end of July, "Fearless Felix" Baumgartner lept from a capsule floating 97,145 feet (more than 18 miles) in the air. He rocketed to earth at speeds of up to 546 miles per hour, free-falling for four straight minutes before activating a parachute and, miraculously, landing light as a feather near Roswell, NM. The high-tech helium balloon-lifted capsule that had carried him to the edge of space wasn't so lucky. It landed hard on rocky, uneven ground and fell over, causing damage to the outer shell and delaying his record-breaking jump that was scheduled for the end of this month.
Before the 46-year-old Austrian can go up again—this time to a record-setting height of 120,000 feet—his capsule will require repairs, including new life-support sytems, a brand-new outer shell and safety tests. Baumgartner and his team with the Red Bull Stratos project expect all systems to be a go by early or mid-October. At that time, he plans to become the first person to break the sound barrier with his body. Either that, or his eyeballs will pop and his blood will boil.
Here's to hoping for the former.
In case you missed it in our earlier post, this is what it (hypothetically) looks like to leap into the void from the edge of space: