On March 15, 2012, 42 year-old Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 71,580 feet — over 13 miles up in the sky — from a space capsule ascended by a giant helium balloon. That’s right; extreme skydiving becomes uber-extreme in the out-of-this-world sport of space-diving.
Obviously it took a lot of planning and technology — and money — to perform such a feat. Fortunately, the stunt is sponsored by Red Bull, who is no stranger to backing extreme athletes, from flare-trailing surfers to multitasking skaters in Chile. This time they have started the Red Bull Stratos project, which aims to get Baumgartner to fall from as high as humanly possible — in the name of an energy sports drink brand, of course.
An amazing feat, yes. But this was only a test run for the real goal of the Red Bull Stratos project: for Baumgartner to jump from an altitude of 120,000 ft — over 22 miles up in the stratosphere — which would make him the first man to go supersonic without the support of a vehicle. Stay tuned this summer for that.