Felix Baumgartner will climb into his Red Bull Stratos pressure suit again Sunday as he makes another attempt to jump from the edge of space. If all goes according to plan, and the weather in Roswell, New Mexico, holds, then Baumgartner could become the first man to free fall from 120,000 feet. But with so much anticipation building, we asked the 43-year-old Austrian how he's coping with the delay of such a daring mission.
How do you keep yourself positive?
I'm here with my family and friends, who are all super supportive. I go to the gym and try to keep myself fit. I've done all of my homework and had all of my briefings with the team I trust. All we are waiting for now is the weather.
What makes you so sure you can accomplish the mission?
On the technical side, I have the best team behind me. And personally, I've been preparing ever since I started B.A.S.E. jumping. I've been working towards this goal since I was a little kid when I started looking up to people like Joe Kittinger. And with him on my team, I know I'm surrounded by the best in the field.
What will be the most important thing you take away from the experience?
Of course, I will be proud to be the first person to break the speed of sound in free fall. But really, I know that part of this entire experience will help make the next pressure suit safer for space tourists and aviators. For my family and friends, they'll be most happy when I'm safely back on the ground.
Another aspect are all the messages I get each day. I've had messages from people all over the world. One of them, from a 13-year-old boy fighting cancer, told me, "the way you've carried on with this project makes me want to fight my own battle." These messages are a big motivation.
How do you rate your chances of lifting off on Sunday?
It's difficult to say, but we rely on the predictions of [Team Meteorologist] Don Day. And every launch in the past has shown me that Don is always on target.
What does all the attention you and Red Bull Stratos have been getting mean to you?
It's important that people keep talking about it. Now that they've seen how hard it is to launch, I think they'll appreciate what they see even more.
Sunday is the 65th anniversary of pilot Chuck Yaeger breaking the speed of sound. That's quite a coincidence.
Even after 65 years, it goes to show there are still challenges to overcome and you should never lose sight of trying to achieve them. I will be proud to be a part of that group of explorers.
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