Posted: Oct 14, 2012 9:40 AM by Associated Press
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner has started his ascent to 23 miles above Earth, hoping to make a death-defying free fall that could make him the first skydiver to break the sound barrier.
Baumgartner took off Sunday in a pressurized capsule carried by a 55-story ultra-thin helium balloon that is expected to take nearly three hours to climb into the stratosphere.
Baumgartner will jump into a near vacuum with no oxygen to begin what is expected to be the fastest, farthest free fall from the highest-ever manned balloon.
Any contact with the capsule on his exit could tear the pressurized suit, a rip that could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as minus 70 degrees.
That could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids.
Click here to submit a news tip to us!
Become a Facebook Fan!
Help those in need this holiday season
Win! Win! Win!
Wise Local Marketing!
Get news, weather and more on your smartphone and tablet!
Get texts for news, traffic, deals and more!
Sign up on KVOA.com for newsletters, exclusive deals, and more!
What's happening on News 4 @ 4
Stories and videos with Kristi's Kids
Check out the latest events FC Tucson has scheduled.
Let us help grow your business
Digital Channel 4.2
What's on KVOA and when!
Contact info for our department heads
KVOA's on air personalities!
Work at News 4 Tucson
Complete feeds of all KVOA.com stories
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and More