- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Budget deal to get quick vote in the House
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro ‘marriage’
- Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes
- American dream dying, but many see free market as solution: Poll
- Air Force base in South Carolina boots Nativity scene
Skydiver aims for supersonic plunge on Oct. 8
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The countdown is on for skydiver Felix Baumgartner.
In just two weeks, Baumgartner will attempt to go supersonic when he jumps from a record altitude of 23 miles over New Mexico. Project managers announced Tuesday the feat will take place Oct. 8.
The Austrian parachutist jumped from 13 miles in March and 18 miles in July. This time, he hopes to break the all-time record of 19.5 miles set in 1960.
A giant helium balloon will hoist a pressurized capsule with Baumgartner inside, dressed in a pressure suit.
Baumgartner expects to reach a top speed of 690 mph and break the sound barrier with only his body, less than a half-minute after he hops from his capsule.
The same capsule was used for Baumgartner's two practice jumps but was damaged in the latest touchdown. It smashed down hard despite its parachute, and the outer shell had to be replaced with parts from a backup capsule. The entire craft was taken apart and reassembled.
The repairs and retesting pushed the final flight from August to October.
"I feel like a tiger in a cage waiting to get out," Baumgartner, 43, said in a statement.
Project officials note that excellent weather will be needed to launch the 30 million-cubic-foot helium balloon from Roswell. Early fall is generally an optimal time for such endeavors.
The entire flight will be monitored by a NASA-like Mission Control; the mission is known as Red Bull Stratos, short for stratosphere. One of the lead team members is record-holder Joe Kittinger, who was an Air Force captain when he took part in the military high-jump project.
This time, the effort is privately funded by the energy drink maker.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- New budget accord saves $23 billion -- after $65 billion spending spree
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- More than a quarter million sign up for Obamacare in November
- Gov't Motors: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $10.5 billion loss for taxpayers
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Human interest stories to feed interest, satisfy curiosity and see outside the box.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow