Felix Baumgartner of Austria has a tattoo on his arm: “Born to fly“, it says; and he will put it to the ultimate test on Monday, when he attempts a record setting, extremely dangerous jump from over 36.000 meters high. You’d think he’d be scared, or even anxious, but if he is, he doesn’t seem to show it at all.
“I practiced this for so many years and now we are almost there,” he said. “So this is my biggest dream, and we are one step closer.”
Well his biggest dream would be a nightmare for most people. Jumping from the stratosphere, he will be free falling for some five minutes, during which he will eventually break the sound barrier, becoming the first man to ever do so. If everything goes according to plan, he will break a record standing for more than half a century.
What does one even wear for such a mission? Not jeans and a t-shirt, that’s for sure. To be safe, or better put, as safe as one can be in these conditions, he will wear a pressurized suit designed specifically to protect him from freezing temperatures, but also decompression sickness and the very real possibility that the liquid within his body could turn to gas. Yeah, it’s that dangerous.He has already jumped from 25.000 meters, but that was just practice.
The mission called Stratos took Red Bull five years and over 200 people working at it. He will begin his ascent in a hot-air balloon, an ascent which will last several hours. After he reaches the intended altitude, he will depressurize the capsule, step out onto a ledge, and dive back down to Earth. The attempt will be made on Monday, so keep your fingers crossed; we’ll keep you posted with any developments.