Pioneering Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner will attempt the highest-ever skydive on record when he tries to break the sound barrier as part of the Red Bull Stratos project – and the entire thing will unfold live online.
At 12pm tomorrow, Baumgartner will freefall 36,576 metres (120,000 feet) above Roswell, New Mexico, beating the current record of 31,333 metres (102,800 feet) set by Col Joe Kittinger of the US Air Force in 1960. Kittinger will be on hand to help Baumgartner through his record attempt, advising him from mission control.
A capsule propelled by 30-metre cubic feet of helium will bring Baumgartner to the edge of space. From there he will freefall, attempting to break the speed of sound with his body.
The launch – which has been five years in the making – was originally scheduled to happen today but was postponed due to high winds. Viewers tuning in via the official Red Bull YouTube channel will be able to see a live data feed showing Baumgartner’s location in the sky and his speed during the freefall. They will also be able to hear Baumgartner’s communications with Kittinger.
It is hoped that Baumgartner’s record-breaking leap of faith will provide useful scientific data for research into aerospace safety.
UPDATE: Checking in on Baumgartner’s jump, it seems there has been a slight delay to scheduled plans with the jump now due to happen at 1.30pm IST. Watch the countdown, followed by the live jump here.
UPDATE: The Red Bull Stratos team are still awaiting for the all-clear from the weatherman for the jump. Keep up-to-date with proceedings on the Twitter account.
UPDATE: The jump was abandoned on Tuesday 9 October due to strong winds. A new schedule for the jump will be announced on the Red Bull Stratos Twitter account.
UPDATE: The launch is now hopefully going to take place on 14 October, when weather conditions are expected to be favourable.