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The man who'll fall to earth

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner aims to break the world's free fall record by jumping from a helium balloon nearly 1,20,000 feet off the ground

It will be one giant leap for man -- and leave the rest of mankind  dizzy at the thought.

The world's most daring skydiver is preparing to jump out of a balloon on the edge of space.


High-flyer: Felix Baumgartner hopes to break four records -- highest-
altitude freefall, highest manned balloon flight, longest distance travelled
in freefall and fastest freefall -- with this death-defying stunt.

file pic/getty images


Felix Baumgartner (42) hopes to break an altitude record which has lasted more than 50 years.

He plans to dive 1,20,000 feet from the adapted weather balloon full of helium.

It should take 35 seconds to break the sound barrier and ten minutes in all, reaching more than 690mph.
Baumgartner will not deploy his parachute until he is less than 5,000 feet from the ground and he must rely on an astronaut suit and oxygen tanks to keep him alive.

His team is expected to announce  formally this week that he will make  the record-breaking jump above New  Mexico in August.

Baumgartner will make two test jumps at 60,000 feet and 90,000 feet in the coming months before the world record attempt, sponsored by the energy drink manufacturer Red Bull.

He had intended to make the leap last year but a promoter named Daniel Hogan claimed the stunt was his idea and took legal action.

Baumgartner, an Austrian helicopter pilot, hopes to break four world records: Highest-altitude freefall, highest manned balloon flight, longest distance travelled in freefall and fastest freefall.

His previous records include lowest parachute jump, 95 feet off the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, and highest jump from a building -- 1,479 feet from the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In 2003 he also became the first person to skydive across the English Channel.

The current altitude record was set by US Air Force colonel Joe Kittinger, who jumped from a balloon at 1,02,800 feet in 1960.  

1,479 ft
The height from which Baumgartner jumped making it the highest jump in the world

1,02,800 ft
The current altitude record performed by US Col Kittinger

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