Austrian-born skydiver, thrill seeker, boundary pusher, and (to many) lunatic Felix Baumgartner will attempt to make history Tuesday morning as the first human to break the sound barrier unaided by a vehicle. To achieve this feat, which is being sponsored and organized by Red Bull Stratos, Fearless Felix Baumgartner will jump from a ballon from 36.5km (22.68 miles) — also the highest a human has ever skydived — over Roswell, NM. To ensure that the world doesn’t miss the event, Red Bull Stratos is offering a live stream of Felix Baumgartner’s skydive. You can watch it below.
Red Bull Stratos: Live Stream Felix Baumgartner’s Skydive [VIDEO]
At that altitude, Baumgartner is in a near-vacuum and should accelerate over 690 miles per hour in just 40 seconds. In total, the journey back to earth should take approximately 10 minutes.
Baumgartner is not the first person to attempt to break the highest, fastest, and longest freefalls. A number of those who have gone before him have lost their lives in the process.
“If something goes wrong, the only thing that might help you is God,” says Baumgartner.
“Because if you run out of luck, if you run out of skills, there is nothing left and you have to really hope he is not going to let you down.”
The previous record for height was set in 1960 by retired Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger. He jumped from a balloon at a height of 31.3km (19.44 miles).
Fearless Felix will be lifted to the remarkable height in a special pressurized capsule, towed by a weather balloon. During his dive, he will wear a next-generation pressurized suit.
The biggest risk the adventurer faces comes from destabilization from shockwaves passing over his body as he breaks the sound barrier. If this occurs, he could enter an uncontrollable, spinning freefall.
“It’s very important he gets into a delta position,” said Baumgartner’s trainer, Luke Aikins. “This is hands at his side and his head low, ripping through the sky. This will be crucial to breaking the speed of sound and remaining stable.”
He does have a safety mechanism in place, though. Engineers have incorporated a device that will automatically deploy a “droge stabilization chute.”
Still, the broadcasters will display the live stream with a 20 second delay to avoid airing a tragedy.