The countdown has begun…Sportsnet is on a mission to rewrite history, with exclusive Canadian coverage of Red Bull Stratos – a scientific voyage featuring a jump from the edge of space that will transcend human limits that have existed for more than 50 years.
Early tomorrow sky diver Felix Baumgartner will step out of a pressurized capsule and free-fall 37 kilometers from the edge of space to the New Mexico desert. As the launch is dependent on the weather, Sportsnet will announce final broadcast details within 24 hours of the confirmed mission time.
Red Bull Stratos is a seven-year mission in the making as Baumgartner began to lay the groundwork for a stratospheric free fall to expand the boundaries of human flight in 2005.
Supported by a team of experts, Austrian skydiving extremist and helicopter pilot Felix Baumgartner will ascend to 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and make a record-breaking jump rushing towards earth in the attempt to become the first man to break the speed of sound in a freefall while providing valuable medical and scientific research data for future aerospace programs. Baumgartner is expected to break records for the highest, fastest, and longest-duration skydive with the potential to break four world records:
- Highest Manned Balloon Flight (expected minimum of 120,000 feet)
- Free Fall from Highest Altitude (expected minimum of 120,000 feet)
- Supersonic Speed in Freefall (expected: Mach 1, approx. 690mph or faster)
- Longest Freefall Time (expected: 5 minutes, 35 seconds or more)
Opening his parachute at 5,000 feet (1,524) to float him to the ground.
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 Baumgartner will strive to break. Kittinger made history on August, 16, 1960 with a parachute jump from 102,800 feet above earth.
Originally scheduled for Monday but postponed due to projected high winds, the feat would make him the first human to break the sound barrier without the propulsion, or protection, of a vehicle.
The current free fall record is held by Joseph Kittinger, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and current Red Bull Stratos team member, who fell 19.5 miles (31.3 kilometers) on August 16, 1960. Kittinger, after years of refusing to help see his record broken, is now enthusiastically behind Baumgartner. “I felt that he was dedicated, that he was sincere. He’s a trained athlete, he’s an aviator.” They have a special bond.
“I’ll be the only one that knows exactly how Felix feels at that moment when he jumps from the step, ’cause I’ve done it,” Kittinger says.
Baumgartner agrees: “Joe knows how lonely you are at that altitude.” In fact, Baumgartner will not allow any voice other than Kittinger’s in his helmet, so that’s how the scientific and medical team on the ground will communicate with him. ”It feels like, if Joe’s there, nothing can go wrong.”
For all the latest news, features, factsheets still images and moving images, please visit the Red Bull Stratos Newsroom: www.RedBullStratosnewsroom.com
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