Felix Baumgartner earned his nickname this week when he jumped out of a helium balloon that sat thirteen miles above the earth. Fearless Felix is currently training for a 23 mile jump that he will attempt this Summer. If Baumgartner accomplishes his goal, he’ll break the world record, and hopefully, the sound barrier.
The Metro reports that Baumgartner jumped out of the helium balloon on Thursday and fell 13.6 miles toward earth. The 42-year-old hit a top speed of 364.4 mph during his jump. He was in freefall for three minutes and 43 seconds. He reached earth in just over 8 minutes.
“I wanted to open the parachute after descending for a while but I noticed that I was still at an altitude of 50,000 feet… I’m now a member of a pretty small club.”
The Huffington Post reports that only two other people have jumped from an altitude higher than 13 miles. The current record is held by Joe Kittinger, an Air Force test pilot who jumped from 102,800 feet – 19.5 miles – in 1960.
Baumgartner will do at least one more jump before he makes his record breaking attempt. Baumgartner said:
“That was the momentum we needed for the whole team. Now we are ready for the 90,000 jump.”
The record breaking jump, which is part of the Red Bull Stratos project, will occur sometime this Summer. The Huffington Post reports that the launch window opens in July and ends in October. Baumgarnter will jump from 120,000 feet and hopes to achieve Mach 1, or 690 mph.
Here’s a video of Fearless Felix’s test jump.
Here’s the video of Joseph Kittinger’s record breaking jump.