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Posted by on Oct 9, 2012 in Science | 4 comments

Freefall from the edge of space

felix baumgartner red bull stratosIt’s a mission to the edge of space that will try to surpass human limits that have existed for more than 50 years.

In just a few hours Austrian extreme sportsman Felix Baumgartner will undertake a stratospheric balloon flight to more than 120,000 feet / 36,576 meters and make a record-breaking freefall jump in the attempt to become the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall (an estimated speed of 690 miles / 1,110 kilometres per hour).

And he’ll make the jump while being tracked by over 30 live cameras and a host of live data telemetry. And you and I can watch it all unfold live thanks to the miracle that is the interwebs!

The Red Bull Stratos Mission was initially planned to be run yesterday (Monday, 08 October 2012) but was delayed to today due to poor weather conditions at the launch site in Roswell New Mexico. (Yes, that Roswell.) The live broadcast will begin at 14:30 SAST (12:30 GMT or 06:30 MDT  in Roswell, New Mexico).

Personally I recommend the stream via the main Stratos site. While the video feed is the same YouTube one, the site page includes a sidebar full of additional data – speed, altitude, position, etc. You can find this feed at

But in case that one gets over subscribed, here’s the plain vanilla YouTube feed as well:

Prost Felix!


  1. Another weather (wind) related delay to #stratos #livejump. Earliest launch now at 1130MDT = 1730GMT = 1930SAST.

  2. Once launched, Felix will float to 120,000 ft in less than 3 hours.

    The 30-million-cubic-foot helium balloon is 1/10 the thickness of a Ziploc bag, yet weighs more than 3,000 pounds. Stretched out it would cover about 40 acres.

  3. Mission Attempts

    1. First to Reach Supersonic Speed in Freefall: First person to break the speed of sound and achieve Mach 1 in freefall, estimated 690 mph, with further acceleration possible,

    2. Freefall from Highest Altitude: Expected jump from 120,000 ft,

    3. Longest Freefall Time: Expected freefall of 5 minutes, 35 seconds or more,

    4. Highest Manned Balloon Flight: Expected ascent to 120,000 ft

    You know, just the usual stuff.

  4. Felix is likely to reach the speed of sound within 40 seconds from 120,000 ft.

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