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Skydiver does test jump for world record

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AP Aerospace Writer
Skydiving daredevil Felix Baumgartner is more than halfway toward his goal of setting a world record for the highest jump.
Baumgartner lifted off today for a test jump from Roswell aboard a 100-foot helium balloon. He rode inside a pressurized capsule to 71,581 feet — 13.6 miles — and then jumped. He landed safely, according to project spokeswoman Trish Medalen. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.
He’s aiming for nearly 23 miles this summer. The record is 19.5 miles.
Today’s jump was a test of his capsule, full-pressure suit, parachutes and other systems. A mini Mission Control — fashioned after NASA’s — monitored his flight.
Baumgartner reached speeds of up to 364.4 mph today and was in free fall for three minutes and 43 seconds, before pulling his parachute cords, Medalen said. The entire jump lasted eight minutes and eight seconds. She stressed that the numbers are still unofficial.

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