I bet we could all come up with some pretty fun adjectives to describe free-falling from 96,000 up in the atmosphere.
But BASE jumping icon Felix Baumgartner would just call it, "practice."
After all, what's a mere 18-mile skydive -- the second-longest in history -- when you have your eyes set on plunging toward Earth from the edge of space, from 120,000 feet up?
Baumgartner has logged his test dives and Wednesday, if all goes according to plan (which is kind of an important thing when one risks their life in a 23-mile freefall), he will complete the longest freefall ever. He will also be the first person to reach supersonic speeds of more than 690 miles-per-hour in a fall.
Yes, a human being will descend from the sky faster than the speed of sound.
Baumgartner will be protected by a $200,000 pressurized suit which insulates him from temperatures between -90 degrees Fahrenheit to +100 degrees Fahrenheit and a helmet that will supply 100% oxygen during his three-hour roundtrip.
He will ascend for roughly two-and-a-half hours in a capsule tethered to one of the largest balloons ever made. When the capsule is an incredible 23 miles up in the sky, "Fearless" Felix will -- logically -- jump out.
He'll spend the first five minutes in a helmet-first freefall for 115,000 feet. The Austrian daredevil will then deploy his parachute at 5,000 feet and spend the last 15 minutes drifting toward his team's Roswell, New Mexico, base.
Beyond satisfying a thrill-seeker's need for speed, the record-breaking leap is also being made to help develop technologies to keep pilots or astronauts safe in event of a high-altitude disaster.
The slideshow above contains more facts, explanations and the risks involved ("boiling blood"?!) in Baumgartner's jump.
The whole thing will be broadcast live on YouTube on Wednesday from a series of on-board cameras as Felix attempts to go...
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