Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian B.A.S.E. jumper, successfully landed the second Red Bull Stratos test jump from 96,640 feet on Wednesday morning over Roswell, New Mexico, bringing him and his team one big step closer to setting a new world record.
The first test jump this past spring, at 71,580 feet, went off smoothly and, after two days of postponements, first due to weather and then due to high winds, Red Bull Stratos was ready for its second manned test jump. Making its announcement on the Red Bull Stratos website on Wednesday morning, the team said: "We are airborne! Felix is on his way up inside a pressurized space capsule to 90,000ft under a helium-filled balloon."
The Red Bull Stratos site went dark for a few hours as people from around the world tweeted questions and waited for the capsule carrying Baumgartner to rise to roughly 90,000 feet. Then the team announced in a short news report that Baumgartner had successfully landed the test jump after 3 minutes and 48 seconds of freefall leading up to the 10-minute, 36-second descent.
Baumgartner is attempting to become the first man to jump from 120,000 feet above the Earth, breaking a 52-year-old record, held by Joe Kittinger, who is now a part of the Red Bull Stratos team. The project has been five years in the making and the second manned test jump is the final test before Baumgartner goes for the record, sometime between now and the end of September.