Frenchman Michel Fournier challenges the Sound Barrier Record with a 25 Miles Jump From Pressurized capsule

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Today, Frenchman Michel Fournier, a 64-year-old retired French army officer, will fly almost 25 miles into the sky in a giant balloon with a pressurized capsule and plunge headfirst towards the earth, soaring through the atmosphere for an estimated 15 minutes. A lot can go wrong when you're trying to reach 130,000 feet up in the air. At above 40,000 feet, there's no longer enough oxygen to breathe. At 12 miles up, the air pressure can cause blood to boil. Fournier will be taking the trip in a special space suit, but if it malfunctions, he'll be dead within seconds. If the jump is successful, Fournier will set records for falling the longest, farthest and fastest of anyone in history. If he makes it, Fournier will set records for falling the longest, farthest and fastest of anyone in history. The fall will be the accumulation of 20 years of research and physical and emotional preparation. To pay for his training and equipment, Fournier has sold almost all his belongings and spent roughly $20 million, mostly raised from private donations.

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Le Grand Sault Via Gizmodo

May 25, 2008 12:29 PM | Sport Videos

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