I have always been fascinated with sky diving, I have a lot of respect for someone who can put their life at risk by jumping out of a plane miles above the earth. You often wonder what fuels an individual to want to do that sort of thing. Is it being a adrenaline junkie or just the plain high (no pun intended) you experience from doing it.

In case you haven't heard there is a guy who is going to attempt to break the record for the highest jump from 120,000 feet from SPACE later this summer.The man who bills himself as an extreme athlete is 41-year-old Austrian Felix Baumgartner who plans to skydive from a balloon in the stratosphere at an altitude of 120,000 feet (23 miles above the earth). If he can achieve this, he'll become the first person to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft. Not only that but he stands the chance to break several other records that have been around for more than 50 years. His plummet to earth would go down as the highest skydive, the highest manned balloon flight and the longest free fall, at about 5 minutes and 30 seconds. The last record attempt was from 102,800 feet back in 1960 by an Air Force pilot Joseph Kittinger.

Of course, Baumgartner will have to wear a special pressurized suit to be able to jump from that altitude and will have to breathe in pure oxygen for about an hour in order to remove nitrogen bubbles from his blood. He will then have to stay at that elevation for about 3 hours in order for his body to adjust. If something should go wrong with the pressurized suit, Baumgartner says his blood could boil.

Baumgartner says he plans on saying a little prayer and then let her rip. Let's just hope Felix is also wearing his lucky underwear... or better yet has an extra pair with him.

The skydive is being sponsored by Red Bull energy drinks.

Check out this recent interview with Felix Baumgartner on the Fox News channel.

(source:space.com)