Baumgartner Takes Commercial "Spaceflight" Practice Jump

Baumgartner Takes Commercial "Spaceflight" Practice Jump

On March 15, daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumped from more than 71,500 feet in the stratosphere, in a practice run for his attempt to be the first human to break the speed of sound in freefall from a high altitude balloon at 120,000 feet.

Last week’s test is the latest development in the Red Bull Stratus project which was temporarily halted last year as a result of a multi-million dollar lawsuit that has since been settled. Red Bull Stratus announced that Baumgartner, who was wearing a specialized spacesuit, reached a top speed of 364 mph before deploying his parachute and landing in Roswell, New Mexico. According to the press release, Baumgartner is now the third person to have ever jumped from above 70,000 feet.

The test is the latest in the final stages of a so-called commercial “spaceflight” jump from the edge of space” as Red Bull Stratus proclaims. In addition to setting several new records, including longest freefall, the stunt aims to contribute medical and scientific data that could support future human spaceflight missions.

The team may be collecting data already. In a statement made following the test, Baumgartner commented on the extreme cold he felt – as low as minus 94í_F – before stepping out of the balloon. “I could hardly move my hands. We’re going to have to do some work on that aspect,” he is quoted by as saying.

Meanwhile, the creator of the Red Bull energy drink, Thai billionaire Chaleo Yoovidhya, reportedly died of natural causes on Saturday.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.