Stuntman plans dive from stratosphere to break sound barrier

I think we have the perfect stunt for Tom Cruise's next installment of Mission Impossible, and it involves skydiving from the stratosphere. Luckily, there's already a guy out there insane enough to try it first, to make sure it works.

The project is called Red Bull Stratos and features Austrian stuntman Felix Baumgartner, who will jump from 120,000 feet, or roughly 23 miles above the Earth. The coordinators of the project believe that Baumgartner may even become the first "space diver" to break the sound barrier. The jumper will travel to the edge of space powered by an air balloon carrying a tiny capsule vehicle, and Baumgartner will be encased in a pressurized space suit when he makes the dive.

Such a scenario brings to mind sci-fi films such Iron Man where Tony Stark's suit failed due to environmental pressures near the edge of space (though, to be near the "edge of space" here, Baumgartner would need to go nearly three times as far out — see below - Ed). The record-breaking jump is scheduled to occur in August over New Mexico, but in the meantime you can follow the project's progress here, and see a video of the training and preparation for the jump in the video below.

CORRECTION: The headline of this post originally fantasized about Austrian stuntman Felix Baumgartner making this dive from "outer space," which, using a Kármánian definition, starts at about 62 miles above the Earth's surface. That would be awesome, indeed, but Baumgartner's 23-mile jump will see him leaping from the Earth's stratosphere, which encompasses a range of somewhere from six miles out to about 50.

Via Telegraph

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