We’ve been learning all about Earth recently. We’ve talked a lot about the different layers of Earth. We’ve talked all about what it’s made of. We’ve talked about the causes of earthquakes and volcanoes. As we wrap that up, we’ll be starting to take a journey through the Earth’s atmosphere and out into the solar system. Before we do that though, somebody else has already started that ascent. Today a man named Felix Baumgartner is venturing into the stratosphere to attempt a 23 mile freefall back to the Earth.
In a specialized suit, Felix will have a 3 hour ascent to 120,000 feet above the Earth. He’ll then take a bunny hop forward from his pressurized space capsule as gravity takes over and he begins his fall back toward the Earth.
During his fall, Baumgartner will not only be out for a joyride, he’ll also be collecting scientific data that will help create future suits for astronauts that could help them better survive in space. He’ll top out at about 690 miles per hour and will actually be traveling faster than the speed of sound. No person has ever broken the sound barrier before so scientists are very excited to find out how it affects the human body. His trip will take about 10 minutes and he won’t pull his parachute until he gets to about 5,000 miles above New Mexico.
If you’re interested in watching his record breaking fall, beating the previous mark of a 19.5 mile freefall, you can click on the video below. As this has never been done before, there are always risks in something tragic happening. However, there is a delay on the video so in case something does happen, it will cut away before anything can be seen.