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Freefall from space to be streamed online

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Live internet stream of record parachute jump

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner will today attempt a skydive from a record breaking 120,000 feet, with his record attempt to be broadcasted live to an internet audience of millions.

He will be wearing a next-generation, full-pressure suit, a variation on the iconic orange suits worn by astronauts for their launches to space. As well as looking to set a new world record, the dive is expected to teach scientists about emergency evacuation from high-altitude vehicles, with NASA and spacecraft manufacturers keeping a close eye on proceedings.

It is not just those with a technological interest who will be able to study the record attempt’s progress, with Baumgartner’s jump to be streamed online to an expectant internet audience. There have been many incredible stunts such as this before, but this is the first such high profile event to be broadcasted live for the public to watch alongside scientists and members of his team.

Online streaming is rapidly growing as a broadcasting method, with sporting events and a La Roux concert streamed online previously.

Baumgartner to fall at up to 690mph

Experts have calculated that due to the vacuum of pressure at this distance above the Earth, Baumgartner will travel at speeds of around 690mph during his fall. This would make the Austrian the first human to break the sound barrier without the aid of a vehicle and reveal a great deal about what the human body goes through at such speeds. Dr Jon Clark is part of the team behind the dive, and remarked: “We don’t know what the human will endure accelerating through the sound barrier in coming back down without the aid of aircraft. And that is really the essence of the scientific goal of this mission.”

Details of the suit have been released, with a number of high tech safety features designed to keep Baumgartner as protected as possible. Despite this, the man looking to make internet and astronomic history was under no illusions regarding the danger of his jump, commenting: “If something goes wrong, the only thing that might help you is God, if you run out of luck, if you run out of skills, there is nothing left and you have to really hope he is not going to let you down.”

Tom Glass, creative director at theEword said “This is another example of the internet showcasing technological advances and allowing the general public to experience this thrilling and groundbreaking event from wherever they may be in the world “.

Written by Ben Dudley

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