From: Roger Greenway, ENN
Published October 15, 2012 06:25 AM

Felix Baumgartner's Incredible Free-Fall from the Stratosphere

Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 120,000 ft came off as planned yesterday. After years of planning, and with the support of a great team of professionals, it was more like a NASA mission than a daredevil stunt.

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The organization that Baumgartner assembled, Red Bull Stratos includes a team of experts to support him as he ascended to more than 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and made a freefall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground. His record shattering jump will provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers.

The Red Bull Stratos team brings together the world's leading minds in aerospace medicine, engineering, pressure suit development, capsule creation and balloon fabrication. It includes retired United States Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who holds three of the records broken by Felix.

Felix has a history of consistently challenging his personal limits while pushing the physical boundaries of human flight. In 2003, Felix completed an unprecedented flight across the English Channel with a carbon wing, and subsequently began to consider an even bigger goal: the supersonic freefall.

In preparation for Felix's first jump from the stratosphere, a long list of procedures came before he ever stepped inside the capsule. His training started years ago practicing high altitude jumps with Luke Aikins, his skydiving consultant, to ensure a solid body position in a relatively stiff pressurized suit. In addition to skydiving Felix has a whole team who supports him from every angle you can imagine, just to get him to the point where his performance in the pressure suit feels like second nature.

Read more and photo credit: Red Bull Stratos.

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