Michel Fournier, a retired French army officer has been preparing for this day for 20 years, having spent just as many million dollars – yes, 20 million dollars – in his search to enable him fly as high as almost 25 miles (that’s 132,000 feet) above ground level in about two hours – so he can jump back again to earth – in just 15 minutes! Phew… long sentence, eh! It’s a long way up that Michel’s planning to go! This means, he would not only break several records, but would even break through sound barriers at the supersonic speed at which he is likely to be in flight. “What is his carrier?” one may ask. Well, a sealed, pressurized gondola equipped with oxygen! He is likely to set records in: fastest free fall, longest free fall, highest altitude for a human balloon flight, and highest parachute jump.
An amazing feat that will have been accomplished, when successful (which I hope it will be), makes well-deserved front page news on The New York Times, ahead of the attempt on Sunday, tomorrow. Wow, what a dream to be working towards for over half your adult life! The plains of Northern Saskatchewan, way up in Canada, is where Michael Fournier will take off from.
Matt Higgins brings this story to us through The New York Times today, in “20-Year Journey for 15-Minute Fall“. Some facts, figures, graphics, info and photos make fascinating reading on this long weekend – Memorial Day – commemorating US men and women who died in military service for their nation.