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Following Today's History-Making Dive From Space By Felix Baumgartner, National Geographic Channel Announces An Exclusive Two-Hour Special Detailing The Journey Toward This Remarkable Achievement

ROSWELL, N.M., Oct. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As Felix Baumgartner broke the world record for a free fall jump from higher than 120,000 feet today, Sunday, October 14 in space — becoming the first person to free fall while breaking the sound barrier — the National Geographic Channel and BBC detailed every second with more than 20 cameras.  The footage will be combined with exclusive behind-the-scenes access following Baumgartner's four-year metamorphosis from an elite BASE jumper to an extreme altitude specialist who can think and act like an astronaut.  Space Dive will premiere on the National Geographic Channel this November.  For a comprehensive wrap-up on this historic space dive, as well as the upcoming NGC special, go to http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/121014-felix-baumgartner-skydive-sound-barrier-kittinger-roswell-science-2/.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121014/DC92689 )

Four years in the making, Space Dive allows viewers to witness a mission fraught with epic challenges as a team of leading experts in medicine, science and engineering push the boundaries of science to design and to build the equipment needed to get Baumgartner to the edge of space and back safely.  The Red Bull Stratos mission served to further the progress of aerospace safety, including the development of a new generation of space suits and parachute systems, the development of protocols for exposure to high altitude, and supersonic acceleration and deceleration. Setting records for the highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, and fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere, Baumgartner's epic journey ended with him raising the flag of the National Geographic Society. 

"Felix is an explorer in the truest sense of the word, and National Geographic Channel was honored to be a part of this mission," said Michael Cascio, EVP of Programming for the National Geographic Channel.  "And while the project itself is obviously groundbreaking, our exclusive inside access adds unique insight and perspective into this four-year journey, and is sure to thrill our viewers."

In August 1960, Colonel Joe Kittinger took one of mankind's first steps towards space exploration.  Leaping from 102,800 feet, Kittinger fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds, reaching a speed of 614 mph, setting records for the highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump and fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere.  Kittinger, now 83, was one of many experts who trained Baumgartner to overcome the many challenges required and to break the records he set as a young test pilot for the benefit of the aerospace community. 

The near vacuum of the stratosphere and the perils of travelling faster than the speed of sound make Baumgartner's space dive all the more audacious.  Since Kittinger's record-setting jump in 1960, two men have died in similar attempts.   NGC cameras on the ground in cooperation with the prototype high-altitude and ground-based tracking cameras developed by the Red Bull Media House were there to capture all of the physical and aptitude training that Baumgartner undertook, as well as his test jumps from 71,522 feet and 96,637 feet.  While wrestling with a dangerous claustrophobic reaction to his pressure suit that could have jeopardized the mission and ultimately cost him his life, Baumgartner had to endure countless and often times discouraging operational tests in the pressurized suit.

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