Next Monday Felix Baumgartner will leap out of a balloon-carried capsule from a staggering 23 miles up – and possibly be the first skydiver to break the sound barrier as he rockets to Earth.

What’s more, you’ll be able to watch the event live.

The previous record for the highest freefall was set by US military pilot Joe Kittinger on 16 August 1960.

felix baumgartner

Baumgartner pictured making a test jump from 18 miles earlier this year


He leapt from a helium-filled balloon from 19 miles up and reached 600mph on the way down.

To say that jumping from even higher up is a risky undertaking is an understatement, with the list of possible injuries and ways of dying all distinctly gruesome.

For starters, Baumgartner, also known as “Fearless Felix”, could go into a spin, haemorrhage his eyes and get a blood clot on his brain – or his blood might “boil” if his suit rips.

The 43-year-old from Austria may also break his neck.

But the jump from 120,000 feet, which will take place above New Mexico, has been meticulously planned over the past five years.

He's already made two test jumps from 15 and 18 miles - and he’s using state-of-the-art kit.

For example, if he’s rendered unconscious an emergency parachute will deploy automatically.

His journey down will be one that no skydiver will be familiar with.

He’ll be so high up that he won’t even have a sensation of falling, because there’s hardly any atmosphere.

Kittinger reported that his jump suit didn’t even ripple during the first few minutes of the fall.

Many people will wonder, of course, whether Felix really will be "Fearless" on the big day.

According to Dr Rhonda Cohen, Sport Psychologist at Middlesex University, his moniker isn't entirely accurate.

She told Huffington Post UK: "People who do extreme things do so because they are able to weigh up the risk and the safety factor. They can calculate the extent of the danger. Will Felix be scared? Of course - the dangers are still there – risk to health and life.

"However, the gamble is that focusing in on the goal of achieving a record will outweigh the possible death. So like a gambler – it’s weighing whether there is a greater chance of success than a risk of death. People in extreme sport examine that balance continuously."

Dr Cohen believes that what motivates the daredevil is the challenge of redefining the limits - and simply getting a buzz.

She added: "People in extreme enjoy pushing the limits – it’s that sense of being really frightened but being really excited at the same time. It is the sense of challenge in one hand and the sense of the unknown in the other."

Baumgartner’s jump will be live-streamed at www.redbullstratos.com.

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  • Red Bull Stratos Project

    In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria prepares to exits the capsule before his jump during the first manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on March 15, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico. In this test he reach the altitude 21800 meters (71500 ft) and landed safely near Roswell. Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of the earths atmosphere, where upon reaching altitude of 120,000 feet by helium baloon, pilot and basejumper Felix Baumgartner will then freefall to the ground in an attempt to break the speed of sound. (Photo by Jay Nemeth/Red Bull via Getty Images)

  • Felix Baumgartner's 18 Mile Space Jump Test Flight

    In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria steps out from the capsule during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on July 25, 2012 over Roswell, New Mexico. Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. (Photo by Jay Nemeth/Red Bull via Getty Images)

  • This hand out photo shows Austrian athle

    This hand out photo shows Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner landing in the desert during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on July 25, 2012. Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner reached an altitude of 29.455 meters with a space capsule on a huge ballon during a successful second test jump. During his 3 min 48 sec free fall he reach a top speed of 862 km/h per hour.  Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. Joerg Mitter/AFP/GettyImages.

  • Felix Baumgartner's 18 Mile Space Jump Test Flight

    In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria lands in the desert during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on July 25, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico. Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. (Photo by Joerg Mitter/Red Bull via Getty Images)

  • This hand out photo shows Austrian athle

    This hand out photo shows Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner landing in the desert after successfully completing the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on July 25, 2012. Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner reached an altitude of 29.455 meters with a space capsule on a huge ballon during a successful second test jump. During his 3 min 48 sec free fall he reach a top speed of 862 km/h per hour.  Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. Joerg Mitter/AFP/GettyImages.

  • This hand out photo shows the balloon wi

    This hand out photo shows the balloon with Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner lifting up during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on July 25, 2012. Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner reached an altitude of 29.455 meters with a space capsule on a huge ballon during a successful second test jump. During his 3 min 48 sec free fall he reach a top speed of 862 km/h per hour.  Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. Joerg Mitter/AFP/GettyImages.

  • Felix Baumgartner's 18 Mile Space Jump Test Flight

    In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria lands in the desert during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on July 25, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico. Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. (Photo by Joerg Mitter/Red Bull via Getty Images)

  • Felix Baumgartner's 18 Mile Space Jump Test Flight

    In this photo provided by Red Bull, Crew members work at the mission control center during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on July 25, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico. Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. (Photo by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull via Getty Images)

  • Felix Baumgartner, Joe Kittinger

    In this photo provided by Red Bull, Felix Baumgartner, of Austria, right, hugs Capcom 1 U.S. Air Force Col. (ret.) Joe Kittinger, after the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, N.M. on Wednesday, July 25, 2012. Baumgartner took another stratospheric leap, this time from an altitude of more than 18 miles (29 kilometers) — an estimated 96,640 feet (29,456 meters), nearly three times higher than cruising jetliners. His top speed was an estimated 536 mph (862.5 kph), said Brian Utley, an official observer on site. (AP Photo/Red Bull, Predrag Vuckovic)

  • Felix Baumgartner's 18 Mile Space Jump Test Flight

    In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria steps into the capsule at the flight line during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on July 25, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico. Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. (Photo by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull via Getty Images)

  • Felix Baumgartner

    In this Wednesday, July 25, 2012 photo made available by Red Bull, Felix Baumgartner of Austria uses a parachute to land in the desert near Roswell, N.M. during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos. Baumgartner made his second stratospheric leap Wednesday, this time from more than 18 miles (29 kilometers) above the Earth - nearly three times higher than cruising jetliners. (AP Photo/Red Bull, Jorg Mitter)

  • This Wednesday, July 25, 2012 photo made available by Red Bull shows the capsule in preparation for Felix Baumgartner's second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, N.M. Baumgartner made his second stratospheric leap Wednesday, this time from more than 18 miles (29 kilometers) above the Earth - nearly three times higher than cruising jetliners. (AP Photo/Red Bull, Predrag Vuckovic)

  • Felix Baumgartner

    In this 2010 photo provided by Red Bull Stratos, Felix Baumgartner makes a 25,000-foot high test jump for Red Bull Stratos. On Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 over New Mexico, Baumgartner will attempt to jump higher and faster in a free fall than anyone ever before and become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. (AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos, Luke Aikins)

  • In this Sept. 24, 2012 photo, a crew member adjusts the space capsule of the Red Bull Stratos mission in the pressure chamber at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Skydiver Felix Baumgartner Baumgartner will attempt to go supersonic when he jumps from the capsule at a record altitude of 23 miles over New Mexico. On Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 project managers announced the jump is scheduled for Oct. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Red Bull, Garth Milan)

  • Felix Baumgartner

    In this Wednesday, July 25, 2012 photo made available by Red Bull, Felix Baumgartner of Austria uses a parachute to land in the desert near Roswell, N.M. during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos. Baumgartner made his second stratospheric leap Wednesday, this time from more than 18 miles (29 kilometers) above the Earth - nearly three times higher than cruising jetliners. (AP Photo/Red Bull, Jorg Mitter)

  • Felix Baumgartner

    In this Thursday, March 15, 2012 file photo provided by Red Bull Stratos, Felix Baumgartner salutes as he prepares to board a capsule carried by a balloon during the first manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, N.M. On Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 over New Mexico, Baumgartner will attempt to jump higher and faster in a free fall than anyone ever before and become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. (AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos, Joerg Mitter)

  • Felix Baumgartner

    In this Friday Jan. 22, 2010 photo provided by Red Bull Stratos, Pilot Felix Baumgartner appears at a news conference in New York. On Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 over New Mexico, Baumgartner will attempt to jump higher and faster in a free fall than anyone ever before and become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. (AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos)

  • Felix Baumgartner, Joe Kittinger

    In this Friday Jan. 22, 2010 photo provided by Red Bull Stratos, Pilot Felix Baumgartner, left, shakes hands with United States Air Force Col. (Ret.) Joe Kittinger, right, following the Red Bull Stratos press conference in New York announcing Baumgartner's plan to attempt to become the first person ever to break the speed of sound with the human body. On Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 over New Mexico, Baumgartner will attempt to jump higher and faster in a free fall than anyone ever before and become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. Kittinger launched a stratospheric jump in 1960 from 102,800 feet that opened the door for space exploration and whose records Baumgartner aims to break. (AP Images for Red Bull Stratos, David Goldman)