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Jumping for Science Baumgartner has dreamed of this fall for seven years. If all goes well, it will break a record. T e fall could also answer some


scientific questions. What will such a long fall do to the human body? Will the special suit made to protect him work? Only his jump can answer these


questions. T is information could save lives one day. It could help astronauts who run into trouble high above Earth. For now, the skydiver squeezes into


his special suit. It’s heavy. It stinks of rubber. It’s stiff . He can barely move. He hates the suit. Yet he must wear


it. He could never survive the fall without it.


12 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER


Baumgartner will ride halfway to space in this capsule.


Danger in the Air His balloon is rising into Earth’s stratosphere. T at’s higher than the highest clouds. It’s nearly halfway to space. It’s also a dangerous place. T ere is less air pressure this high


up. T at does strange things to the human body. Liquids in the body turn into a gas. T e gas expands. T is causes the body to swell. It can swell to two times its normal size.


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