Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Come Tuesday, weather permitting, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner will attempt to be the first person to break the sound barrier in free fall. The mission will take Felix 23 miles above Earth in a small space capsule.
He will then step out of the capsule and plunge to Earth hoping to reach speeds that exceed 690 mph.
It’s an unthinkably dangerous stunt that will test the limits of the human body in one of the most brutal environments: Air pressure is practically nonexistent and temperatures can sink to negative 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Continue clicking to see how it will all come together.
The interior sphere isn't very big. It's about 6 feet across and contains various instruments, cameras and Felix's chair.
A giant helium balloon (it weighs almost 4,000 pounds uninflated) will carry the capsule 23 miles above Earth.
The balloon is very thin and tall at launch. It will fill out into a large round shape as the helium gas expands with altitude.
Temperatures and lack of pressure are the biggest dangers. At 62,000 feet the water in Felix's body could turn to gas and expand.
It could dip to negative 70 degrees Fahrenheit as Felix plunges to Earth. In the first test flight, the Austrian 's hands were frozen to the point where he was almost unable to pull his parachute rip cord.
The current record is 614 mph. That was set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger, shown right, who jumped to Earth from 102,800 feet.
Felix isn't wearing an ordinary skydiving rig. The whole pack, which contains a stabilisation chute to help during an uncontrolled spin, two landing parachutes and a 10-minute oxygen supply, weighs 60 pounds. That's three times heavier than a normal parachute system.
If everything goes according to plan, Felix will become the first person to exceed the speed of sound in free fall.
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