- (Photo: Twitter/Ben Kind)
Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner has reached new heights in a space jump that was clocked at speeds of 364 miles per hour.
Red Bull Stratos, the name of the mission, is hoping to break even more records with a high-altitude skydive. Baumgartner is going after the world record of a skydive of 102,800 feet previously set by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger in 1960.
"The height of Felix's test flight was significant, as it was the first time he passed the Armstrong Line of approximately 63,000 feet, where the atmospheric pressure truly tests Felix's custom-made space suit," the Red Bull team said in a statement.
"Keep in mind that at 120,000 feet … there is no atmosphere to sustain human life," Dustin Gohmert of NASA told the Star Tribune. "To the body, it's no different than being in deep space, save from possibly more radiation shielding from the little atmosphere you have. You need the full protection of the pressure suit," he explained.
Baumgartner's first jump was only 30,000 feet. He has now doubled that and will continue to jump until he reaches 120,000 feet. "I love the challenge. I have a passion for aviation, and I love working on things that start from scratch," he told Fox News.
The ultimate goal is to break the sound barrier, which will require Baumgartner to drop from a height over 23 miles away from earth and reach speeds of over 760 miles per hour. Right now he is only halfway there but will keep trying until he is successful.
"In the 52 years since I did it, there have been a lot of improvements in pressure suits, in communications and life-support systems," Kittinger told the Star Tribune. "But the only thing that really has not changed in how hostile it is at that altitude. It's almost a complete vacuum," he explained.
"I had confidence in myself and my equipment and my team. That never varied," Kittinger said. "Felix has to have the same thing."
What is one of the things Baumgartner enjoys most about these jumps? "The view is amazing, way better than I thought," he told The Telegraph.