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20080523

64 year old Michel Fournier from France will use a helium balloon to elevate himself to the edge of space about 40 km / 25 miles above the Earth and jump out of the safety of his gondola capsule for a record setting jump.In the process Fournier will break four world records:

  • fastest free fall
  • longest free fall
  • highest altitude for a human balloon flight
  • highest parachute jump


Several of those records date back more than 50 years ago to 1960 where U.S. Air Force's Joe Kittinger jumped from a balloon at 102,000 feet.
On the horizon Fournier will see the black of space contrasted against the curvature of Earth below. Weightlessness will begin as soon as he steps out. Fournier will land in the small town of North Battleford, Saskatchewan with the population of 14,000.

Michel Fournier has plenty of parachuting experience including over 8000 parachute jumps and is retired from the French army.

Fournier is planning on jumping Monday 6am if the weather conditions are right.

Fournier has named this "Le Grand Saut" which translates to The Great Leap.


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Read more about the Great Leap, and here and here and here.

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