Skydiver Plans Jump From Edge of Space

Felix Baumgartner will fall from 23 miles up
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2012 11:46 AM CST

If you have a fear of heights, don’t read on: An Austrian adventurer plans to jump from the very edge of space later this year, falling from the dizzying height of about 23 miles. (That's 120,000 feet; for comparison's sake, consider that the average passenger plane flies at just 35,000 feet.) If he is successful, Felix Baumgartner will break the record for the highest skydive ever—and he may even break the sound barrier. He will wear a pressurized suit that will protect him and provide oxygen (unless, of course, it leaks, notes the morbid BBC).

The suit will completely encase him and is similar to a spacesuit, but must be even tougher: A serious breach could cause Baumgartner's tissues to swell and the moisture in his eyes and mouth to boil. Fortunately, the suit has been tested and "does its job," the adventurer says. Baumgartner is no stranger to skydiving feats: Among his past claims is a leap from Malaysia's Petronas Towers. If this stunt is successful, it will break the 1960 record set by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from 102,800 feet. Baumgartner plans to reach his jumping point via balloon. (Read more sky diving stories.)

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