Felix Baumgartner’s intrepid mission to break the speed of sound has been rescheduled for 8 a.m. ET (12 p.m. GMT) this Sunday, Oct. 14, due to windy weather preventing the previous attempt.
Baumgartner will ascend in a capsule carried by a lightweight 55-storey balloon to almost 23 miles (37.5 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface over New Mexico.
Decked in a pressure suit, he will then launch himself from the capsule and travel at supersonic speeds of up to 690 miles (1,110 kilometers) per hour for almost six minutes, before deploying his parachute.
Baumgartner told AFP that so much preparation has been done, he is unlikely to die, but he could lose consciousness.
“That could happen if I get into a flat spin… like a CD on a CD player. Then the blood goes to the head and leads to red-out,” he explained. “Black-out is the opposite, when the blood goes to the feet.”
The mission will be closely monitored for space research purposes, because it could lead to the development of special space suits that allow astronauts to eject at high altitudes in emergency situations.
“I believe in God and I truly believe that there is a plan that he has for everybody. And I also believe that he has a plan for me,” Baumgartner told AFP. “It looks like I am becoming an astronaut.”
“I’m going to slide the door open, bail out and become the first human person in freefall to break the speed of sound,” he added. “That is His plan and that is probably my last goal that I have to accomplish.”
If successful, Baumgartner will achieve three other world records: the highest manned balloon flight, the highest altitude jump, and the longest time in free fall.
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