Students passing through the Marshall Student Center (MSC) lobby between 8 a.m. and noon today will witness a record-breaking feat as Felix Baumgartner, a 43-year-old Austrian skydiver, attempts to jump from an altitude of 120,000 feet 23 miles above the Earths crust.
Sponsored by Red Bull, the event has been three years in planning, according to its website. Baumgartner will launch from New Mexico at 8 a.m., wearing a spacesuit designed by a team of doctors, engineers and scientists, in a special stratospheric capsule, before he makes his dive at 11 a.m.
The MSC set up a screen and projector Monday afternoon to count down to the jump, which will be captured by 35 cameras and livestreamed into the MSC and across the country.
The current world record for highest jump is held by Joe Kuttinger, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who jumped from an altitude of 102,800 feet in 1960 and serves as an adviser to Baumgartners mission.
USF student body President Brian Goff said a student first contacted him with the idea and asked if USF would be interested in livestreaming the jump.
I said Yeah, it would be cool. Lets see if we can get it set up, Goff said.
Goff said he has a class at 8 a.m., but plans to watch the rest of the stream afterward.
Its really interesting, he said. I really hope we can achieve this feat tomorrow.