Skydiver aims for world record jump

Skydiver aims for world record jump

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Austrian extremist parachuter Felix Baumgartner makes the sign of victory as he arrives in Calais, 31 July 2003. Today 94 years after Luis Bleriot first crossed the Channel with an aeoroplane, Baumgartner succeeded in crossing the strait between England and France without external drive. With a carbon fibre wing spreading 1,8 meters he jumped at 10000 meters above Dover and flew the 33 km (18 miles) to Calais free fall, landing there with a parachute. AFP PHOTO / SPORTSANDNEWS/BERNHARD SPOETTEL (Photo credit should read BERHARD SPOETTEL/AFP/Getty Images)

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by MARCIA DUNN

AP

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 12:01 AM

Skydiving daredevil Felix Baumgartner is more than halfway toward his goal of setting a world record for the highest jump.

A spokeswoman says Baumgartner took a prctice jump Thursday from more than 13 miles high over New Mexico. He's aiming for nearly 23 miles this summer.

He lifted off from Roswell, N.M., aboard a helium balloon. He rode inside a pressurized capsule to about 71,000 feet, and then jumped. The spokeswoman says he landed safely.

When the 42-year-old Austrian leaps from 120,000 feet this summer, he expects to break the sound barrier. There's virtually no atmosphere that far up, making it extremely dangerous.

The record is held by Joe Kittinger (KIT-in-jur), a retired Air Force officer. He jumped from 19.5 miles in 1960.

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