October 9th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Skydiving from the stratosphere

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner is set to freefall faster, longer and from higher than anyone. Ever.

If things go according to plan, he'll jump from 120,000 feet and break the sound barrier on the way down.

Only one person really knows what it will be like. Joe Kittinger set the previous record with his big jump. He reached an altitude of 102,800 feet, and describes a hostile environment.

He told CNN, "You know that right outside of you is a vacuum of space and without the protection of that pressure suit, you cannot live. And that's an interesting thought."

Baumgartner's jump is being called "Mission to the Edge of Space." It's catchy, though not entirely accurate.

The Kármán line is the accepted boundary between our atmosphere and outer space. It's 100 kilometers up. Baumgartner won't be close. He aims to free fall from 36.5 kilometers.

But who cares. He'll fly through the heavens without a vehicle separating him from the sky. That sounds incredible on its own.

Filed under: General