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Skydiver eyes record-breaking jump over NM

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012
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Any contact with the capsule on his exit could tear the pressurized suit. A rip could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as minus 70 degrees. It could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids, a condition known as "boiling blood."

There are also risks he could spin out of control, causing other risky problems.

Despite the horrifying hazards of the dive, he and his team of experts say they have confidence in their built-in solutions and have a plan for almost every contingency. The spacesuit and capsule were tested in two early skydiving practice runs, one from 15 miles up in March and 18 miles in July.

Baumgartner, who has made more than 2,500 jumps from planes, helicopters, landmarks and skyscrapers, has been preparing for this leap for five years.

He spent Monday in his hotel room, preparing himself mentally and talking with his parents, his girlfriend and four friends, team members said. It was his mother's first trip to the United States from her Austrian home.

The venture is being sponsored by energy drink maker, Red Bull, which has funded other extreme athletic events. The company won't say how much the project, called Stratos for stratosphere, is costing.

The organizers say there are some 30 video and still cameras to record the jump, including five attached to Baumgartner's pressure suit, along with cameras from the capsule, on the ground and a helicopter.

Red Bull has been promoting a live Internet stream of the event at http://www.redbullstratos.com/live , 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.

After 25 years of skydiving, Baumgartner promises this jump will be his last.

He says he plans to settle down with his girlfriend and fly helicopters on mountain rescue and firefighting missions in the U.S. and Austria.

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