Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Ahmed Kathrada's funeral highlights divisions within the ruling ANC party

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

It's Not EU, It's Me

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Markets muted as UK begins Brexit proceedings

Read more

THE DEBATE

'Thank you and goodbye': Clock starts on Brexit negotiations (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

'Thank you and goodbye': Clock starts on Brexit negotiations (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Ghost in the Shell', 'The Confession' and Jean Rouch centenary

Read more

FOCUS

Italy: Anti-establishment mayor of Rome faces grim reality of power

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Refugees of rap: Using music to speak out about the Syrian war

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

Rise of populism: Could far-right leader Le Pen be France's next president?

Read more

Sports

Space skydiver completes test jump

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-18

A daredevil base jumper completed a test dive from a stratospheric altitude of 21 km, launching himself from a capsule and wearing a special space suit. His goal is to jump from 37 km and be the first to break the sound barrier without an aircraft.

AFP - An Austrian daredevil has come closer to his goal of breaking the world free fall record, completing a test skydive from a height of 21,800 metres (71,500 feet) in the United States.

He took just three minutes and 33 seconds to reach the ground.

"I am still stoked and can't find the words to described what happened" on Thursday morning, Felix Baumgartner wrote on his Facebook page of the project dubbed "Red Bull Stratos".

Baumgartner is aiming to become the first person to free fall faster than the speed of sound.

This first test jump was more than halfway to his goal of 37,000 metres planned for later this year.

Wearing a special suit, the skydiver was taken up in a large helium-filled balloon in a capsule from where he made his jump.

The 42-year-old landed in the New Mexico desert, near the town of Roswell, after 3 minutes and 33 seconds of freefall and having attained a speed of 587 kilometres per hour.

"First Test jump was a total success," Baumgartner wrote.

He also hopes to become the first person to break the sound barrier without an aircraft.

Jonathan Clark, the project's medical director, has said the jump would explore the effects of acceleration to supersonic speed on the human body.

The current free fall record is held by former US Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger, who jumped from 102,800 feet, or more than 19 miles, in 1960 from the Excelsior III, a gondola lifted by helium balloons.

Kittinger has been hired as a special advisor and "mentor" for the flight by Baumgartner.

Baumgartner's previous free fall ventures have included jumping from the top of the World Financial Center T101 in Taipei and from the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

Date created : 2012-03-18

COMMENT(S)