|Sunday, 14 October 2012 20:29|
ROSWELL: Skydiver Felix Baumgartner's next chance to attempt a record-breaking free fall from the stratosphere will be on Sunday. With nothing but a space suit, helmet and parachute, Baumgartner is aiming to jump from a balloon at a higher altitude than anyone ever has -- 120,000 feet (about 23 miles), more than three times the cruising altitude of the average airliner.
The Austrian daredevil, dubbed "Fearless Felix," also hopes to be the first person to break the sound barrier without the protection of a vehicle. At that altitude, the thin air provides so little resistance that after just 40 seconds, he is expected to be free-falling faster than 690 miles an hour.
On the day of the launch, "we wake him up at 2 a.m.," he said. "We're in a very prescribed routine at that point. Every moment -- what has to happen. That's what helps you keep your focus."