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 Skydiver safely jumps from stratosphere over New Mexico

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مُساهمةموضوع: Skydiver safely jumps from stratosphere over New Mexico   15.10.12 14:04

An Austrian
daredevil leapt into the stratosphere from a balloon near the edge of
space 24 miles above Earth on Sunday and safely landed, setting a record
for the highest skydive and breaking the sound barrier in the process.

Cheers broke out as Felix
Baumgartner, 43, jumped from a skateboard-sized shelf outside the
11-by-8-foot (3.3-by-2.4 meter) fiberglass and acrylic capsule that was
carried higher than 128,000 feet by an enormous balloon.
"W
love you Felix!" screamed the crowd gathered in a mission control
setting at his launch site in Roswell, New Mexico as more than 8 million
people watched his feat online.
Baumgartner's
body pierced the atmosphere at 833.9 miles per hour, according to
preliminary numbers released by Brian Utley, the certification official
for the Federation Aeronautic International, at a press conference
afterward.
Baumgartner's speed
clinched one of his goals: to become the first skydiver to break the
sound barrier, typically measured at more than 690 mph. And he did so on
the 65th anniversary of legendary American pilot Chuck Yeager's flight
shattering the sound barrier on October 14, 1947.
Utley
said preliminary figures indicate Baumgartner broke a total of three
established world records, including the highest altitude skydive,
longest freefall without a parachute and fastest fall achieved during a
skydive.
Baumgartner landed safely
on the ground and raised his arms in a victory salute just 10 minutes
after he stepped into the air. Soon he was hugged by his mother and
father, who took their first trip outside Europe to see his historic
plunge, and his girlfriend jumped up and wrapped her legs around him.
"It
was way harder than I expected," Baumgartner said. Recalling his final
words before he stepped into the stratosphere, he said, "Sometimes you
have to get up really high to know how small you are."
The
Austrian has made a career of risky jumps including skydiving across
the English Channel and parachuting off the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
PREPARATION
Earlier
Baumgartner prepared to jump from the pressurized capsule by going
through a checklist of 40 items with project adviser Joe Kittinger,
holder of a 19-mile high altitude parachute jump record that Baumgartner
smashed.
Earlier in the flight, he expressed concern that his astronaut-like helmet was not heating properly.
"This
is very serious, Joe," said Baumgartner as the capsule, designed to
remain at 55 degrees Fahrenheit ascended in skies where temperatures
were expected to plunge below -91.8 F (-67.8 C), according to the
project's website. "Sometimes it's getting foggy when I exhale. ... I do
not feel heat."
Baumgartner's ascent into the stratosphere took about 2-1/2 hours.
The
30 million-cubic-foot (850,000-cubic-metre) plastic balloon, is about
one-tenth the thickness of a plastic bag, or roughly as thin as a dry
cleaner bag.



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Skydiver safely jumps from stratosphere over New Mexico

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