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Skydiver to Break Sound Barrier With 23-Mile Freefall and a Supersonic Suit

For one daredevil, even the sky is not a limit. According to Fox News, Felix Baumgartner's jump later this year from 23-miles (or 120,000-feet) up in the air will make him the first parachutist to ever break the sound barrier. He'll fly toward Earth at speeds of 760-mph wearing a custom-made, supersonic suit. This attempt to set the record for the world's highest free fall is part of the Red Bull Stratos project. A team of scientists funded by Red Bull took a pressurized suit that jet pilots wear and modified it for space. They slightly changed the design in the suit's arms and legs to give Baumgartner more flexibility during his fall. The suit has built-in devices called aneroids that instantly respond to changes in pressure. This instant pressurization will ensure that Baumgartner doesn't black out or suffer an embolism by pulling in or pushing out air to maintain 3.5-psi.

While this project has been in the works for three years, there are still many questions and concerns. Nobody is positive exactly what will happen to Baumgartner when he breaks the speed of sound. But if it's a success, this venture could answer plenty of questions about human physiology at high altitudes, which could lead to safer space travel for astronauts.... and tourists, too. [From: Fox News and Red Bull Stratos]

Tags: daredevil, parachute, plane, pressure, redbull, science, skydiving, sound barrier, SoundBarrier, stunts, supersonic, top