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CLEVELAND - Fearless Felix is the daredevil who wants to be the world's first supersonic skydiver.

Wind and weather concerns have delayed his free-fall for a second day. But he's determined to try again. How does he do it?

WKYC reporterSara Shookman went to the Great Lakes Science Center to figure it out.

"What's pretty unbelievable is that someone is doing this," said Director of Creative Projects Dante Centuori.

It's not easy to break four world records like Feliz Baumgartner will if he's successful.

Baumgartner is heading into very thin air, to skydive 23 miles down, faster than the speed of sound.

He'll need to survive a three-hour balloon ride in a 55-story balloon to 120,000 feet before free-falling back down.

"A human has never surpassed the speed of sound in free-fall before, and if all goes as planned, and the atmosphere conditions are just right, that will happen when he's in that five or so minutes of free-fall," said Centuori.

That's one of four world records Baumgartner is after if he can follow through with the Red Bull Stratos Jump. He'd make the first supersonic free fall, the highest altitude free fall, and longest free-fall time - more than five and half minutes, and the highest manned balloon flight.

"At that altitude, there's almost no air pressure," said Centuori.
Without a high tech suit to protect him, Fearless Felix could suffer in a vacuum of air pressure, less than one percent of the air you're breathing now. Centuori demonstrated the pressure's effect on a balloon and marshmallow peeps for WKYC cameras.

The jump poses many risks for Baumgartner. "If he can walk away from it, it's successful," said Centuori.

The reward for science could be great, as Felix hops out into the gray area between aeronautics and astronautics.

"We want to be able to devise systems, safety systems, where we know what happens if a pilot is at a very high altitude airplane and might need to bail," said Centuori.
A NASA spokesperson says the dive's data could be

valuable for astronaut safety in the future. "I'm sure there will be things to learn and I think it's an example of how we are using both government and individuals in the private sector to expand the space frontier," said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver.

A dive like this hasn't been attempted since 1960 when former Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger reached his free-fall record at 19.5 miles, slightly slower than the speed of sound.

The next weather window for the dive will open on Sunday. On top of all the other sensors that Felix will wear, he'll have more than 30 cameras following the jump so the public can watch as it happens.

You can find out more, or watch the live feed, by clickinghere.

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