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Baumgartner, Red Bull Stratos Team To Celebrate Fifth Anniversary of Supersonic Freefall during Red Bull Air Race World Championship Oct. 14-15 at IMS

Global flight icon Felix Baumgartner will celebrate the fifth anniversary of his historic freefall from space along with the Red Bull Stratos team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Red Bull Air Race World Championship on Oct. 14-15.

Baumgartner, from Austria, became the first person to break the speed of sound without the protection or propulsion of a vehicle Oct. 14, 2012 when he jumped from a capsule attached to a helium balloon at a height of 127,852.4 feet. Before pulling his parachute, Baumgartner was in freefall for 119,431.1 feet, during which he reached a speed of 843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25.

From the time Baumgartner left the capsule, nine minutes and 18 seconds elapsed before he safely returned to the ground.

To celebrate the five-year anniversary of the extraordinary feat, a Red Bull Stratos exhibit will appear at IMS during the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, and key members of the mission team will attend the race. Team members on-site will include Baumgartner (pilot), Colonel Joe Kittinger (flight operations and safety), Art Thompson (technical project director), Mike Todd (life support engineer), Luke Aikins (skydiving consultant) and Andy Walshe (high performance director).

The exhibit will be located in the IMS Fan Midway and feature the pressure suit and helmet worn by Baumgartner, and the Red Bull Stratos capsule. Informational panels will describe the mission in detail and outline the science behind the accomplishment. Members of the Red Bull Stratos team, including Baumgartner, will make appearances at the exhibit during the weekend.

“We’re honored that IMS was chosen as the site for Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team to celebrate a milestone anniversary of their historic feat,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We look forward to welcoming them to the Racing Capital of the World on such a special weekend of flight. The lineup of exciting attractions for fans at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at IMS continues to grow, both in the air and on the ground.”

With a passion for expanding boundaries, especially in the air, Baumgartner is an expert parachutist best known for his Red Bull Stratos jump and for completing an unprecedented flight across the English Channel using a carbon wing.

Baumgartner, 48, grew up in Salzburg, Austria, where he dreamed of skydiving and flying helicopters and was inspired by astronauts on TV. He made his first skydive at age 16. After sharpening his parachute skills as a member of a Special Forces demonstration team for the Austrian military, Baumgartner supported himself by repairing motorcycles before becoming a skydiving professional.

Eager to test the limits, Baumgartner set a record for history's lowest BASE jump (from Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue), twice set world records for the highest BASE jump from a building (Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and Taipei 101 tower) and even landed his canopy inside a cave in Croatia.

Baumgartner was named to Vienna's Street of Champions and nominated for a World Sports Award and two categories in the NEA Extreme Sports Awards. A licensed gas balloon pilot, he has earned private helicopter licenses in Austria and the United States, as well as a commercial European helicopter license. He also is an advocate for the nonprofit Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation.

During Red Bull Air Race World Championship competition at IMS, 14 Master Class and six Challenger Class pilots will fly on a course above the IMS oval infield. Planes fly at low altitude while exceeding 200 mph and encountering forces of up to 10 G’s while navigating a low-level slalom track marked by 82-foot-high, air-filled pylons.

World champions in both classes will be crowned at IMS from a field featuring pilots from all over the world, including Americans Kirby Chambliss, Michael Goulian and Kevin Coleman.

Click here to buy tickets or for more information on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

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