Update #3: Okay, so, he's alive. It worked. That was all a bit stressful, yes? Baumgartner survived jumping from almost 130,000 feet above the earth. He didn't break the record for longest free fall. Kittinger still holds that record. But Baumgarter did (unofficially) break Mach 1. He did break the record for highest sky dive.
This is the start of the dive in a GIF, as tweeted by Reuters' Anthony De Rosa.
Some shots of the earth from the capsule's cameras before the jump:
For a while all you could see was this black-and-white, blurry outline of him while he was falling. It was terrifying. He was spinning for a while at the start, but that was expected. Eventually he stabilized and, after a while of free falling, was able to open his parachute.
First in color shots of the man after he returned to earth from space.
Relieved mom Eva Baumgartner is really relieved.
Land! Sweet, solid, stable, not falling, beautiful land!
Photographer makes first contact with the strange space man:
And that's it, folks. Approximately 8 million people watched the Youtube stream. There were also broadcasts on national television networks. Most importantly, though, a man jumped from the edge of space and survived.
Update #2: He did it. He survived. More in a bit.
Update #1: Baumgartner is on his way up now. The jump will happen. He's been ascending for about thirty minutes, which puts the actual jump time at around 1:30 p.m. ET. Tune in below:
Original: It's looking like daredevil parachutist Felix Baumgartner will get his chance to attempt to break the record for the highest sky dive ever today and the whole thing is going to be broadcast live on Youtube. Baumgartner came close to attempting the jump on Tuesday, but windy weather stopped him from making the ascent.
The current launch time is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET. There is a light wind, but the crew is reportedly optimistic the jump will take place.
Baumgartner is currently suited up and waiting inside the capsule of his custom-made, 55-story hot air balloon. Once the weather is right, he will ascend more than 120,000 feet above the Earth, before jumping out and falling more than 100,000 feet in five-and-a-half minutes. He will become the first human to ever break the sound barrier without the help of a jet airplane.
Once launch starts, it will take approximately two to three hours for the capsule to reach the optimal altitude for Baumgartner to step out. He explained to the New York Times earlier this week that being stuck inside the capsule for so long is actually the hardest part -- not falling almost 22 miles at break neck speeds.
You can follow along with the livestream below, or the Red Bull Stratos Twitter feed is constantly updating with pictures and updates from the launch site.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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