Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, aiming to complete a record-setting 120,000 foot dive from edge of space, successfully completed a 71,581 foot practice dive today.
From launch to touchdown, the entire test flight lasted just over eight minutes, officials said. According to Baumgartner, the toughest part of the leap was the extreme cold he experienced high up in Earth’s atmosphere. “I could hardly move my hands,” the skydiver said in a statement. “We’re going to have to do some work on that aspect.”
Baumgartner is gearing up for an even bigger leap — his so-called “space jump” — from 120,000 feet (36,576 m) this summer. The current record for highest-altitude skydive is 102,800 feet (31,333 m), set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger.