Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

  • Air Algerie ‘lost contact’ with flight leaving Burkina Faso

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

Americas

Austrian sets world record with stratospheric free-fall

Video by Katerina VITTOZZI

Latest update : 2012-10-15

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner landed on his feet on Sunday after breaking up to three world records with a free-fall skydive from a capsule floating more than 38 kilometres above Roswell, New Mexico.

An Austrian daredevil leapt into the stratosphere from a balloon near the edge of space 24 miles (38 km) above Earth on Sunday and safely landed, setting a record for the highest skydive and breaking the sound barrier in the process.

Cheers broke out as Felix Baumgartner, 43, jumped from a skateboard- sized shelf outside the 11-by-8-foot (3.3-by-2.4 metre) fiberglass and acrylic capsule that was carried higher than 12 8,000 feet (39 ,000 metres) by an enormous balloon.

“We love you Felix!” screamed the crowd gathered in a mission control setting at his launch site in Roswell, New Mexico as more than 8 million people watched his feat onli ne.

Baumgartner’s body pierced the atmosphere at 833.9 miles per hour (1, 3 42.8 kph), a ccording to p reliminary numbers released by Brian Utley, the certification official for the Federation Aeronautic International, at a press conference afterward.

Baumgartner’s speed clinched one of his goals: to become the first skydiver to break the s ound barrier, typically measured at more than 690 m ph (1,110 kph). And he did so on the 65 th anniversary of legendary American pilot Chuck Yeager’s flight shattering the sound barrier on Oct. 14, 1947.

Utley said preliminary figures indicate Baumgartner broke a total of three established world records, including t he highest altitude skydive (128,100 feet or 39,045 metres), longest freefall without a parachute (119,846 feet or 36,529 metres) and fastest fall achieved during a skydive (reaching 833.9 mph or 1,342 kph).

Baumgartner landed safely on the ground and rais ed his arms in a victory salute just 10 minutes after he stepped into the air. Soon he was hugged by his mother and father, who took their first trip outside Europe to see his historic plunge, and his girlfriend jumped up and wrapped her legs around him.

“It was way harder than I expected,” Baumgartner said. Recalling his final words before he stepped into the stratosphere, he said, “Sometimes you have to get up really high to know how small you are.”

The Austrian has made a career of risky jumps including skydiving across the English Channel and parachuting off the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.

Preparation

Earlier Baumgartner prepared to jump from the pressurized capsule by going through a checklist of 40 items with project adviser Joe Kittinger, holder of a 19-mile high (30 km) altitude parachute jump record that Baumgartner smashed.

Earlier in the flight, he expressed concern that his astronaut-like helmet was not heating properly.

“This is very serious, Joe,” said Baumgartner as the capsule, designed to remain at 55 degrees Fahrenheit ascended in skies where temperatures were expected to plunge below -91.8 F (-67.8 C), according to the project’s website. “Sometimes it’s getting foggy when I exhale. ... I do not feel heat.”

Baumgartner’s ascent into the stratosphere took about 2-1/2 hours.

The 30 million-cubic-foot (850,000-cubic-metre) plastic balloon, is about one-tenth the thickness of a plastic bag, or roughly as thin as a dry cleaner bag.

(Reuters)

Felix Baumgartner's Test Jump

Date created : 2012-10-14

  • UNITED STATES

    Weather halts daredevil's bid for supersonic skydive

    Read more

  • EXTREME SPORTS

    Space skydiver completes test jump

    Read more

COMMENT(S)