Apparently, we will have to wait until Sunday for Felix Baumgartner (Oscar Madison’s finicky roommate in The Odd Couple–oh, wait, that was Felix Unger) to make his historic (and perhaps final) jump from the edge of space, 23 miles above the Earth.
According to Yahoo News:
An Austrian daredevil will attempt to break the world record for highest-ever skydive today (Oct. 9), leaping from a balloon nearly 23 miles above southeastern New Mexico.
If all goes according to plan, Felix Baumgartner will plummet to Earth from an altitude of 120,000 feet (36,576 meters) this morning, becoming the first skydiver to break the sound barrier during his 5.5-minute freefall.
He should also notch a few other records in the process, including longest-duration freefall and highest manned balloon flight, say officials with his mission, which is called Red Bull Stratos.
The action should begin in earnest around dawn New Mexico time, when Red Bull Stratos’ 55-story balloon is slated to lift off from Roswell. Over the course of about three hours, the balloon will lift Baumgartner — riding in a custom-built 2,900-pound (1,315 kilograms) capsule — up to the desired altitude.
Clad in a special pressurized suit, Baumgartner will then step out into the void, enduring unprecedented speeds as he hurtles through the stratosphere in freefall. He should deploy his parachute at an altitude of about 5,000 feet (1,500 m), then float safely to the desert floor.
The daredevil is aiming to break a skydiving mark that has stood since U.S. Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger leapt from 102,800 feet (31,333 m) back in 1960. Kittinger serves as an adviser to Baumgartner’s mission.
Kittinger apparently fell or was pushed out of a plane in 1960. This is his attempt to get revenge. Mr. Baumgartner plans to do this of his own free will.
suicide attempt mission was postponed due to high winds. If the winds shifted, he might end up in Oz.
Seriously? What would possess a man to step out of a capsule in space and “plummet” back to earth 23 miles–almost a marathon distance–in 5.5 minutes? You couldn’t pay me enough just to go up in that balloon, let alone jump off when the earth is but a tiny marble below. Well, maybe you could. Make me an offer. But start with eight figures.
Don’t things burn up coming into Earth’s atmosphere? Got asbestos?
I would definitely need a toilet in that capsule–there’s no way my aging bladder and a pitcher of beer (and you can bet I’d need me some of that stuff or stronger before I’d accidentally get on board this mission) would last three hours under that balloon.
If he exceeds the speed of sound, he will splat down before his screams reach the ground, correct?
A balloon? Seriously? Were all the giant sling shots in use?
How in the wide, wide, world of sports does he figure he can leap 23 miles above the Earth, and land back in Roswell, New Mexico? Just because the aliens can do it, doesn’t mean he can. What if he makes that left turn at Albuquerque? Or gets hit by a jet plane on the way down. That would suck, wouldn’t it?
Come Sunday, I’m going to grab me a can of Red Bull and some popcorn, and eagerly await this splat down!
Of course, this gives new meaning to Red Bull’s slogan, Red Bull Gives you Wings.