Skydiver Aims to Set Record After Jump from Space

Austrian Felix Baumgartner, 41, with the support of his energy drink sponsor Red Bull, is planning to skydive from a balloon in the stratosphere from an altitude of 120,000 feet.

Should Baumgartner be able to pull of this incredible feat, he would end up breaking several records which have stood for more than fifty years.

The jump is scheduled for this summer and if it is successful, he would become the first person to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft. His jump would also set new records for the highest skydive, the highest manned balloon flight and the longest free fall.

But Baumgartner explained that it is not just about setting records- his jump could also help scientists understand how people are affected in such an extreme environment.

The team supporting Baumgartner, known as the Red Bull Stratos team, will study and monitor his physical condition during the dive as well as the various effects on his body.

"This mission is all about pioneer work," Baumgartner said in a statement. "Maybe one day people will look back and say it was Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team that helped to develop the suit that they're wearing in space. We want to do something for posterity."

The Red Bull Stratos team includes aerospace engineers who are designing and producing technology that will be used to keep Baumgartner safe during his jump, such as the suit he will wear and the capsule that will take him to edge of space.

"We'll be setting new standards for aviation," the team's medical director Jonathan Clark, who is a former space shuttle surgeon, told

"Never before has anyone gone supersonic without being in an aircraft … The aim is to improve the safety for space professionals as well as potential space tourists," Clark said.