An ex-SAS soldier is to attempt a record-breaking skydive — from 120,000ft. Movie stuntman Steve Truglia, 40, will jump from a hot air balloon 24 miles up on the edge of space.
That is three times the cruising altitude of a Jumbo jet. Only a Space Shuttle flies higher, shedding its rocket boosters at 150,000ft.
He will free fall for seven minutes before opening his parachute, and could break the 770mph sound barrier as he hurtles towards the ground. No human has ever travelled at such a speed outside an aircraft — and Steve has no idea how his body will react.
He will need a pressurized space suit in temperatures of -100°C, but Steve, of East London, said: “It’s the last great challenge left on Earth. Obviously it will be dangerous. We’re playing with a lot of unknowns. But it’s my job to assess risk and I don’t believe the problems are insurmountable.”
Steve is a veteran of 1,200 jumps with 21 SAS Regiment and the Royal Marines. He has since co-ordinated stunts in Bond films. He plans a jump from 52,000ft over Norfolk in May to break the European record — before attempting the world record in the autumn.
Meanwhile he is seeking sponsors for a seven-figure sum. The current record of 102,000ft was set by US Air Force officer Joseph Kittinger in 1960.