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http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/21/sup...ex.html?hpt=T3 New York (CNN) -- An Austrian daredevil is planning to become the first person to break the sound barrier in a free fall, without riding in a vehicle.
This summer in New Mexico, Felix Baumgartner hopes to make the highest, longest and fastest fall ever.
His attempt will take him to an altitude where the atmosphere ends and space begins -- where blood boils at body temperature, and the air temperature could be as low as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The first step in the attempt will be riding a helium balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet above sea level -- almost 23 miles -- higher than anyone has ascended in a balloon before.

Then, wearing a pressurized suit and oxygen tanks, he plans to jump out of his capsule for a five-minute fall back to Earth. Within the first 30 seconds, he expects to be falling faster than the speed of sound, which at that altitude is around 690 miles per hour. Crossing that barrier would mark a new test of the limits of the human body.
"This is what we want to find out: What happens to the human body when it breaks the speed of sound," Baumgartner said. "That's a big question mark."

To increase his chances of survival, his parachute is set to open automatically, even if he's unconscious or spinning so fast his hands are pinned by the G-force. He said his engineers are taking every precaution, testing out the suit in a wind tunnel and providing him with a backup chute, sealed gloves and boots, and an advanced helmet.

"This helmet also has face-shield heating to make sure your visor's not getting fogged up on the way down, because that would be fatal," he said. "If you don't see anything, you can't move anymore. You can't make decisions."

Still, the risk of the unknown remains. "If something happens, it happens fast," he said. "You can never say you're not going to get killed under any circumstances," but "we have a lot of solutions for emergency situations like this."
A chain reaction of events would have to occur before the jump could turn fatal, he said.

A potential benefit from the mission, he said, would be demonstrating that it is possible to return from space without a spacecraft.
"In the future, a lot more tourists will go and travel to space. And if something goes wrong with their spacecraft, they have to return to Earth somehow," he said. "We will show to the world that egress from high altitude is survivable."

The main difference is that Baumgartner will start from a standstill, whereas astronauts in a craft like the space shuttle are traveling at orbital speeds close to 18,000 mph when their re-entry begins.

The previous record for the highest jump has stood for half a century, since it was set in 1960 by Joe Kittinger with the Air Force. He reached an altitude of 102,800 feet, and says it felt like a very distant and hostile place to be.
"You know that right outside of you is a vacuum of space," he said, "and without the protection of that pressure suit, you cannot live. And that's an interesting thought."
Baumgartner, whose attempt is being financed by energy drink maker Red Bull, has enlisted Kittinger as a consultant.

"We have learned a lot from people in the past who tried to break that record, and they all failed," Baumgartner said. "Some of these people got killed." But he adds, "I think it's human nature, you know. Records are meant to be broken. And I'm a very competitive person. I like the challenge."
 

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I get anxiety from watching that "Joe Kittinger" video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ7N6V-YKJ8

In that video it says he reached the speed of sound, but 990KM/h is only 615MPH.

"The speed of sound varies depending on altitude, temperature and the medium through which it travels. For example, at sea level in a standard atmosphere, at a temperature of 59-degrees Fahrenheit (15 Celsius), sound travels 761 miles per hour (1,225 km/p/h). At a temperature of 32-degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius) the speed of sound drops to 742 mph (1,194 km/p/h). In altitudes above sea level the speed of sound is again different and will vary depending on prevailing factors."
 

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Duct Tape and WD-40
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1st person my ass. someone needs to send that out of touch guy a morse code to tell him its been done already. i have gone roughly 140 in a free fall and was the scariest thing i have ever done (besides my 1st few bull rides)... and the fuckin sound barrier. wtf is wrong with people?
 

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REBUILDING
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How is it possible, that it seem like he does not know it has been done before? Unless I am misreading it, twice, he does not know??!! WTF? Come on....unless whoever wrote it got it all messed up? I don't know, but he must not have You Tube?
"This is what we want to find out: What happens to the human body when it breaks the speed of sound," Baumgartner said. "That's a big question mark."
HE DOESNT KNOW????

Baumgartner, whose attempt is being financed by energy drink maker Red Bull, has enlisted Kittinger as a consultant.
The guy who did it first is on his team and he's still acting like he himself will be the first?

Either not too bright or COO COO FOR COCO PUFFS!!!!!
 

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Only difference is the altitude he's jumping from 120,000 and Joe Kittinger jumped from 102,800.

They are both nuts in my book.
 

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That Joe Kittinger deal was completely insane! 1960? Just unreal!

That footage is just unbelievable!
I AGREE.....GIVES ME CHILLS......THERE IS A WORD FOR MEN LIKE THIS.....I JUST CAN'T THINK OF IT :p
 

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"Kittinger is currently advising Felix Baumgartner on a planned free-fall from 120,000 feet (about 36,000m).[5] The project is called the Red Bull Stratos project and has collected leading experts in the fields of aeronautics, medicine and engineering to ensure its success. Felix Baumgartner will also become the first man to break the sound barrier, during his free fall, if his jump is successful. Baumgartner's jump will be used to test the next generation of full pressure suits, used in space and to collect useful medical and scientific information [12] ."
 

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In the kittinger video, the woman speaking said that he reached a speed of 990 KMH, the equates to 615.1575 MPH, which even at that altitude (102,000 feet) is still not quite the speed of sound, its hella close but from what i can tell about 35-40 mph off. Feel free to correct me if i am wrong, But i believe that is right?
 

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So what will this prove?

If he dies then it proves the human body can't take those speeds. If he lives then it proves the human body possibly can take those speeds.

I just don't understand, how by doing this act, does it becomes useful information for the common man.
 
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