Skydiver to Break Sound Barrier During 120,000-foot Jump

Greg Otto

An Austrian skydiver will attempt to break the sound barrier later this year when he leaps from a weather balloon located 23 miles off the ground.

Felix Baumgartner, 42, will jump from 120,000 feet above the Earth's surface, trying to break a record that has been held for nearly 50 years.

After jumping from the balloon, Baumgartner will reach speeds of over 690 mph, breaking the sound barrier just 35 seconds after beginning his descent. He will be wrapped in a protective suit that will withstand temperatures of up to -70 degrees Celsius and stores oxygen for up to 20 minutes.

According to the Daily Mail, Baumgartner plans to break four records: Highest-altitude freefall, highest manned balloon flight, longest distance traveled in freefall and fastest freefall.

The current record was set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who jumped from a balloon 102,800 feet above ground in 1960.

Baumgartner has made some wild jumps in the past, including a freeall across the English Channel in 2003 and a world-record BASE jump from the hand of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

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