Adventure: How Far Is Too Far?

You love a new adventure. But would you jump out of a helium balloon from high up in the stratosphere?

That is exactly what daredevil Felix Baumgartner hopes to accomplish today if the weather would just cooperate. Seems a little risky, right?

While “Fearless Felix” is no stranger to big jumps, his mission does beg an important question: When it comes to the pursuit of adventure, how far is too far? Is there a limit to what  you will attempt?

Consider the details that go into jumping out of what basically amounts to one of those cheap rice paper floor lanterns your wife always seems to bring home from Target:

“Supported by a team of experts, Felix Baumgartner will undertake a stratospheric balloon flight to more than 120,000 feet / 36,576 meters and make a record-breaking freefall jump in the attempt to become the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall (an estimated 690 miles / 1,110 kilometers per hour), while delivering valuable data for medical and scientific advancement.”

A stratospheric balloon flight to more than 120,000 feet! A 690 mph freefall! Certainly no small feat.

Also, consider the following conditions which could easily take Felix’s life:

“…any contact with the capsule on his exit could tear the pressurized suit. A rip could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as 21 Celsius below zero. It could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids, a condition known as ‘boiling blood.’ He could also spin out of control, causing other risky problems.

To answer the question how far is too far, well, that is entirely up to you. People may find you a tad insane if you willingly choose to hurl yourself out of a helium balloon wearing a space suit.

And the thought of “boiling blood” probably prevents most of us from going forward. But you know what? If you want to go bigger than anybody has ever gone before, do it. Who cares what the “normal,” “sane” people say.

Just think of the stories “Fearless Felix” will tell.

There is one very important catch, though: Always consider your safety and your skill level. Always!

Watch the whole thing live in the video below. And don’t worry. Organizers said “there will be a 20-second delay in their broadcast of footage in case of a tragic accident.” Oh boy. Good luck up there, Felix.