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Felix Baumgartner prepares for skydive from space

Report by Sam Datta-Paulin

Felix Baumgartner is making his final preparations for a record-breaking, supersonic skydive above the Earth on October 8.

The 43-year-old Austrian aviation pioneer is set to climb into a capsule suspended below a weather balloon which will lift him to 23 miles above the surface. When he reaches that height, Felix will jump using a special pressure suit, reaching up to mach 1.2 as he hurtles towards his planned landing site in New Mexico.

The existing record, set by Joe Kittinger, has stood for 52-years.

Early signs for the attempt have been promising. The team completed a final test jump from a near-record altitude of 29,610 meters in July.

In that attempt, Baumgartner fell at speeds of up to 864 kilometers per hour - as fast as a commercial airliner. The Austrian landed safely, but his capsule suffered a hard landing and required emergency repairs.


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