So, why did the record fail? Simple. The helium balloon Michel Fournier was going to use to soar to the stratosphere detached from the capsule he was going to use to jump from 130,000 feet, about 25 miles high, and took off without him!
The balloon was reported to have cost at least $200,000 and Fournier was said to have already exhausted his finances.
Fournier hoped to break the record for the fastest and longest free fall, the highest parachute jump and the highest balloon flight. He also hopes to bring back data that will help astronauts and others survive in the highest of altitudes. It was expected to take Fournier 15 minutes just to come down, screaming through thin air at about 900 mph—1.7 times the speed of sound — smashing through the sound barrier, shock waves buffeting his body, before finally deploying his chute about 6,000 yards above the prairie wheat fields.
Did you read that? He was going to fall through the air at 900 mph!!! Then, he was going to deploy his parachute at 6,000 yards above the ground.
Could it be that the balloon taking off without him was just God's way of protecting someone too crazy to take care of themself? And, knowing that Mr. Fournier has depleted his money, he can't attempt the same crazy event any time soon!
I don't know about you, but I get dizzy taking off and landing while in an airplane! I can't even begin to fathom dropping from 130,000 feet above the earth, going 900 mph, and then being sane enough to pull the rip-cord and landing safely!
How about you? Sound like something you want to try any time soon?