Illusionist and endurance artist David Blaine has successfully completed his latest stunt, Ascension, in which he flew over the Arizona desert using helium balloons. He had originally planned to fly over New York for his first live event but decided to relocate Ascension to Arizona because of weather concerns and logistical issues. Blaine used around 50 helium-filled balloons to complete the stunt.
Blaine began his ascent just before 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday and within 40 minutes had risen to a height of over 19,000 feet, or just over three-and-a-half miles, where the oxygen level is around half that to be found at sea level. He eventually reached a height of 24,900 feet and then parachuted to the ground. From lift-off to landing, Blaine completed Ascension within an hour.
“I’m going to provide my point of view through the whole thing,” Blaine told Variety in a recent interview. The endurance artist did indeed stay in contact with his support team during the stunt, with both visuals and audio streamed on YouTube.
Watch all of Ascension above.