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A supersonic fall

If Felix Baumgartner is successful this morning, he will break the sound barrier about 35 seconds after jumping from a helium-filled balloon at an altitude of 23 miles — about 120,000 feet —over southeastern New Mexico. More than two dozen high-definition and high-resolution digital cameras will be recording the event. Some views will be streamed live, but with a 20-second delay.

What will you see?

Video and still cameras attached to the capsule will record his jump. Cameras on his pressure suit, a helicopter and ground-based tracking system will capture his descent.

How many cameras?

Some 30 video and still cameras in total, including five attached to the thighs and chest of his pressure suit.

Will the feed be live?

Organizers of the Red Bull-sponsored event are promising a live feed through their website — redbullstratos.com — from all cameras except those on Baumgartner's body. But organizers said there will be a 20-second delay in their broadcast of footage in case of a tragic accident.

What could go wrong?

The balloon could rip. Problems with his pressure suit could cause a gruesome death.

When does it start?

The live feed is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

When is launch?

Approximate launch is 8:55 a.m. EDT, weather permitting.

How long will it take?

The ascent could take up to three hours. His descent will take about 20 minutes. He is expected to land between noon and 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Associated Press

A supersonic fall 10/08/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 8, 2012 9:37pm]
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