Posted: Oct 09, 2012 01:44 pm EDT (Newsdesk) Initial October 9th early morning lift-off time postponed due to the wind. Watch live Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s attempt to ascend in a helium balloon to an altitude of 120,000 ft / 36,576 m and jump out of his capsule becoming the first person to break the speed of sound (768 mph at sea level) during freefall:
The skydiver already reached 536mph/863kph in training. To imagine the speed: compare to average flight speed for a commercial airliner at 500 mph.
As for the altitude, the Kármán line, at 62 miles (100 km) above sea level, is conventionally used as the start of space. But space for man usually starts at 62000 ft (19 km) says test pilot, balloon pioneer and Felix's mentor Joe Kittinger, "above that the blood boils and without a pressure suit you die very quickly."
Data from the International Air Sports Federation (FAI) shows how the 1st manned test in March measured up:
Altitude reached: 71,615.2 ft / 21,828.3 meters Parachute opened at: 8,210.6 ft / 2,502.6 meters Freefall time: 3 minutes and 40 seconds The fastest ascent rate of the capsule: 1,200 feet per minute (estimate) Speed reached in freefall: 364.69 mph / 586.92 km per hour.