Skydive over Mojave Desert
Aircraft have been traveling faster than the speed of sound--no simple accomplishment--since 1947. Now Felix Baumgartner wants to do the same thing, in freefall. Sometime this year, Baumgartner plans to step out of a balloon-suspended capsule at about 120,000 feet, not so very far from the edge of space, and race toward the earth at a rate that could reach Mach 1 or even slightly above.
It's an endeavor that requires intense and thorough preparation, as well as exacting technique. Baumgartner has been working toward the skydive for months with his Red Bull Stratos support team, and he'll draw on his own experience of more than 2,000 parachute jumps, often extreme in their own right, if nowhere near the breathtaking ambition of this stratospheric undertaking.
The photo here shows Baumgartner in a high-altitude test jump last year, somewhere way above the Mojave Desert in California.
July 5, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Luke Aikins for Red Bull Stratos
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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