Why you should listen
Steve Truglia became a professional stuntman in 1996, after two decades as a reservist in the UK Special Forces. Outside of his stunt work in TV and movies, he's developed a nice line in jaw-dropping records. In 2002, he became the UK's deepest freediver, performing a hold-your-breath dive to 76 meters. In 2004, he set the Guinness World Record for the fastest abseil over 100 meters, covering the distance in 8.9 seconds. And (ouch) he holds the unofficial UK Full Body Burn fire record of 2 mins and 5 secs.
But the stunt he's now training for is the most astonishing of all: He's planning to break the record for extreme-high-altitude parachute jump, from a balloon at 120,000 feet (36.5 kilometers).
Truglia will wear multiple parachutes for the many-stage descent, including a minutes-long freefall through the stratosphere at the speed of sound, while clad in a full spacesuit. And the challenges of this modern jump include more earthly issues -- tweaking equipment, getting permissions, securing funding and gambling on the weather.
What others say
“It takes a certain type of person to want to leap from the edge of space and plummet to the ground at more than 700mph, but Truglia -- who made his name doing stunts in the Bond movies -- believes he has what it takes.” — Joseph Dunn, Sunday Times