Update – 1:43 p.m. – The attempt has been aborted. Too windy.
“Fearless” Felix Baumgartner is going to perform the longest skydive in world history today–if Mother Nature will get her act together and cooperate.
Baumgartner was originally scheduled to make his jump this morning, but high winds caused him to put the stunt on hold. He’s currently scheduled to do it at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, assuming the winds in New Mexico die down a bit.
You can stream the jump live and for free here:
Red Bull is sponsoring the jump, which will take Baumgartner to the outer reaches of the earth’s atmosphere in a helium-powered balloon and then see him jump out and fall to the earth’s surface. He is expected to fall for more than 120,000 feet, which will take more than five minutes, and he should reach a speed of almost 700 miles per hour. Pretty ridiculous.
Felix is hoping to become the first human to exceed the speed of sound in freefall.
The current record for longest freefall was set 52 years ago, when Captain Joe Kittinger jumped 102,800 feet from a balloon. If you’ve never seen video of his jump, you really need to. It was used in the video for the band Boards of Canada’s song “Dayvan Cowboy” to great effect: