Frenchman set to plunge to Earth from the edge of space

May 24th, 2008 - 2:04 pm ICT by admin  

London , May 24 (ANI): Parachuting has been a hobby for many, but a retired French army colonel is so passionate about the sport that he is preparing to attempt a record-breaking skydive of 1000mph from the edge of space.

On May 25 Michel Fournier, 64, will be jumping from about 25 miles after travelling in a pressurised capsule suspended from a helium balloon for two and a half hours to the edge of the stratosphere.

The mission will be held at Saskatchewan , Canada and would require him to plunge to the ground at supersonic speed, reports the Telegraph.

A similar attempt by Fournier five years ago was met with failure, but he is hoping that this time he would make a successful effort by falling for about 10 minutes before using his parachute.

If successful, his achievement would break existing records of highest altitude free fall, highest altitude human balloon flight, the time record for the longest free fall and the speed record for the fastest free fall.

For the jump, Fournier will be donning a 35,000 pounds carbon fibre suit, especially designed to fight the freezing temperatures of -100C (-148F) at such height, and also it would protect him from exceptionally high temperatures that would result by the air resistance created by his high-speed fall.

Also, he will be wearing a re-enforced crash helmet that will save his ears from the thunderous sonic boom he will create after breaking the sound barrier.

He would also be inhaling pure oxygen for hours before his big leapin order to discard off any traces of nitrogen from his blood due to the thinness of the air at 40,000 metres

Fourniers passion to accomplish his goal is, so much so, that he has gone to the extent of selling his antique furniture, a prized gun collection and even his home for fulfilling his dream of completing the record-breaking dive. (ANI)

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