Jumping from the edge of space and trying to break the speed of sound as a parachutist probably isn’t how most of us are spending Sunday, but the Red Bull Stratos mission is underway again for another attempt at the record. Having been cancelled last week after weather issues, and postponed in the days following after forecasts refused to play ball, the climb through the atmosphere to 120,000 feet is now on.
When the capsule hits the target altitude, daredevil Felix Baumgartner will open up the hatch and become the first human to skydive from such a height. He’s expected to rapidly break the speed of sound – 340.29 m/s – though the best estimates of the team is that it won’t affect his body.
At time of writing, the Stratos capsule is 38,000 feet above the surface of the Earth, rising at a rate of around 1,000 feet a minute. It’s being monitored not only by cameras on the capsule itself, but a set of NASA-developed tracking cameras on the ground underneath, which use a combination of infrared and other targeting systems to keep things in view.
It’s taking 180,000 cubit feet of helium to get the capsule up to the stratosphere, though only gravity will be needed to bring Baumgartner back down. You can watch the full event in the live YouTube video below.