Baumgartner does it. He skydives, freefalls, his parachute deployed, and he just made an amazing landing, all from clear view of everyone looking on.
The launch occurred at 9:31 MDT, at an airport in Roswell, New Mexico, in the United States.
Baumgartner, age 43, is now over 127,000 feet off the ground -- about 23.8 miles (38.3 kilometers). Everything is in the "Green". His goal is to reach 120,000 feet above Earth, or maybe even 130,000 feet in altitude, before jumping out and skydiving back to Earth -- 22.7 to 24.6 miles above Earth.
At this altitude, his rate of ascend has slowed noticeably, to 0.4 meters per second, or 59 feet per minute. Earlier he was going up at about 3.0 meters per second, 590 feet per minute.
The capcom, Joe Kittinger, and the skydiver, Felix Baumgartner are currently doing an egress check in preparation for Baumgartner exiting the capsule for the jump.
In addition, he has the new record for highest for a human to go up in the air in a balloon, at about 114,000 feet.
At the critical point in the flight, at 4,000 feet, the capdom stated " All is Green, you're on your way to space". The capcom is Joesph "Joe" William Kittinger II, who holds the current record for skydiving altitude, states. Joe is speaking to Felix from his com link, the only person doing that to avoid confusion. Four thousand feet gives Baumgartner is good safety margin to return to Earth safely if sometimes goes wrong during the ascent.
Watch the mission LIVE. This is the largest balloon to be launched with a human aboard, per the spokesperson for the Red BullStratos mission.
Watch the LIVE Webcast compliments of Red Bull and YouTube. The LIVE feed is: http://www.youtube.com/redbull. This is the one I'm looking at.
The image (320 × 213) is captioned: 'Fearless Felix' to Try Fastest Free Fall. Skydiver aims to break sound.
The Washington Post has an interesting article on the jump at "Felix Baumgartner tries record-breaking skydive again (LIVE BLOG)". It contains numerous videos out there about the mission.