Felix Baumgartner survives practice jump from 13 miles up

We talked about the crazy Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner a few times now as he gets ready to jump from what will be a world record altitude in the coming months. Baumgartner just completed a practice jump that saw him leap out of a pressurized capsule wearing a pressure suit similar to what astronauts don from 13 miles above the ground. The altitude was 71,581 feet.

The free fall lasted 3 minutes and 43 seconds. During the freefall, Baumgartner reached a speed of 364 miles an hour. The daredevil deployed his parachute at 7890 feet and floated to a safe landing 30 miles from Roswell, New Mexico where the practice jump and the record-setting jump will take place.

Once at altitude, Baumgartner didn't just stand up and leap out. He had to go through 39 step safety checklist, depressurize the specially built capsule, and leap. The entire practice jump took about 8 minutes from when he jumped from the capsule until landing back on earth. The test jump did uncover a couple problems. Namely, Baumgartner said he could hardly move his hands due to the cold. It will be even colder when he leaps 120,000 feet this summer to set the record.

[via Space.com]