Q&A: Lowdown on the Baumgartner high dive

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The Independent US

Q What did it feel like?

A: Baumgartner has said he did not feel anything during his supersonic fall, partly because his suit shielded him from the huge force and external noise. "When you're in a dead pressure suit [and so far above the earth without any reference points] you don't feel anything," he said.

Q What happened to the balloon?

A: A When Baumgartner reached the ground, the capsule was remotely detached from the balloon and fell to earth using its own parachute. The balloon was deflated using a "destruct line" and also fell back to earth.

Q Was he really in danger?

A: A Yes. Of the 16 major risks of the jump, a problem with his suit or the capsule, and the accidental deployment of a parachute, were identified as the biggest.

Q Was there actually any point to it?

A: A It was mostly just cool to watch. But a monitor developed by Cambridgeshire-based company Hidalgo also recorded Baumgartner's heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, body activity and acceleration during the fall, and the data could be used in new research in the fields of aerospace medicine or sports science.

Q How long before I can try it?

A: The cost of Baumgartner's stunt puts it out of the reach of most wannabe daredevils and extreme sports enthusiasts for a while. The balloon alone cost about $250,000 (£155,000) and it's not even reusable. The rest of the jump cost sponsor Red Bull millions of dollars. However, it is thought that the stunt might encourage more people to take up skydiving.