On July 25, the Red Bull Stratos team sent Felix Baumgartner up to the edge of space where he jumped and free-fell from the second-highest distance ever recorded in history: 97,145.7 ft.
The word on that July day was that Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team would return in August to conquer the highest skydive ever, this one from more than 19 miles. (The previous record was set by Joseph Kittinger in 1960 who leaped from 102,800 feet.)
Baumgartner plans to jump from 125,000 feet, and Kittinger is on the Stratos Team sending him up.
Yet until lately there has been little word on when Baumgartner would be making the actual jump. And it turns out, that is a result of the previous jump having left the pod, which Baumgartner takes to the edge of space, damaged.
Here is what it said on a Red Bull Stratos blog post, August 14:
“Several hours later the Recovery Team reached the capsule and discovered it had sustained damage on landing. After Baumgartner jumped from the capsule, it was detached from the balloon shortly before it would have drifted into US military airspace southwest of Roswell. However, after descending under parachute, it landed on a rocky, uneven surface and was thrown onto its side.”
As a result, the capsule had to be largely reassembled and retested. The retest occurs on September 24 in San Antonio, Texas, where it will be placed in an altitude chamber that recreates a stratospheric environment. Once the new pod is deemed safe for flight, Baumgartner will go back up to the edge of spce for the world record.
Official date is unknown. But the Red Bull Stratos teams asaid early fall would likely be the date.
Photo of capsule in altitude chamber at Brooks-City Base in San Antonio, Texas via Red Bull Stratos Blog.