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Felix Baumgartner Poised to Break Sound Barrier in Record-Smashing 22-mile Sky Dive

We’ve seen the new “Man of Steel” trailer where Superman breaks the sound barrier going up, but Austrian base jumper Felix Baumgartner wants to do it falling down.

Baumgartner made a test jump of 18-miles down to Earth in preparation for his 22-mile sky dive, where he hopes to become the first person to break the speed of sound and achieve Mach 1 in free-fall. To do that, the daredevil needs to reach speeds of 690 mph, wearing a pressurized space suit and oxygen-supplied helmet. Baumgartner’s team of international experts in medicine, science, engineering, aviation, and design includes Joe Kittinger, who set the sky-diving record for free-falling in 1960 from 102,800 feet, or just above 19 miles. 

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria is seen before his jump during the first manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on March 15, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico.

Photo by Jay Nemeth/Red Bull via Getty Images

Sponsor Red Bull claims to give you wings, but that would just slow Baumgartner down. To think—in the olden days, we used to be entertained by Evil Knievel jumps that didn’t start from the stratosphere.