"I feel like a tiger in a cage waiting to get out," said Baumgartner. The anticipation must be killing him!
A couple of months ago, we wrote of Baumgartner's test flight, successfully sky diving from a mere 102,800 feet above the earth. This time, the full planned mission will take place.
Sometime between 06:30 and 09:00 MDT on Tuesday morning (that's 11:30pm - 02:00am Melbourne time), Baumgartner's helium-lifted capsule will rise into the calm morning skies above Roswell, New Mexico (seems apt, doesn't it!), reaching an altitude of 120,000 feet (35,500m) around 3 hours later.
At that point, Baumgartner will calmly step off the capsule's front porch and dive into history.
Lifting Baumgartner, and his capsule, will be one of the largest helium balloons ever built, containing around 850,000 cubic metres of gas and constructed from a plastic one tenth the thickness of a typical plastic bag.
It is hoped that the flight will set four major records:
- First supersonic free fall (estimated to reach 1110km/h)
- Highest ever free fall (35.5km, previous 31.3km)
- Longest free fall time (5 minutes 35, previous 4:36)
- Highest ever manned balloon flight (previously 34.6km)
As the jump team observes the process of confirming the record is a very extensive and time consuming one.
According to the timeline, at the time of writing, Baumgartner will be completing his check of the capsule and about to undergo his final medical testing prior to suiting up ready for the flight.
(images couresy of Red Bull content pool)
Updates will be provided as news comes to hand.