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Up and away! Illusionist David Blaine launches stunt that will see him float 18,000 feet above the Arizona desert... - 32695544-8689865-The_47_year_old_s_Ascension_stunt_kicked_off_in_Pa ge_Arizona_on_-a-33_1599059642990.jpg ...
....'as he holds onto cluster of balloons with one hand'
*David Blaine's 'Ascension' stunt kicked off in Page, Arizona on Wednesday
*The stunt, which is being livestreamed on YouTube, will see Blaine float 18,000
feet - or 3.2 miles - in the air held up only by the cluster of balloons
*It is expected to last about an hour
*The stunt, which was initially scheduled to be held in his hometown of New York
City, had to be postponed earlier this week due to unfavorable weather
Illusionist and magician David Blaine has launched his daring stunt that will
see him float some 18,000 feet into the sky held up by nothing other than 52
The 47-year-old's 'Ascension' stunt kicked off in Page, Arizona on Wednesday
The stunt, which is being livestreamed on YouTube, will see Blaine float 18,000
feet - or 3.2 miles - in the air held up only by the cluster of balloons.
It is expected to last about an hour.
Shortly after taking off, Blaine started dropping five pound weights to ascend
The illusionist, who had an oxygen mask throughout, was climbing at about 500
feet a minute.
At about 8,000 feet, Blaine started strapping himself into a parachute. He is
set to skydive back to the ground.
Just prior to getting underway, Blaine said the stunt felt 'way crazier' than
anything he has ever previously done.
'This thing feels insane. Normally I feel like I have control... this I have no
control over anything,' he said.
His nine-year-old daughter Dessa watched on from the ground.
The stunt, which was initially scheduled to be held in his hometown of New York
City, had to be postponed earlier this week due to unfavorable weather and wind
Blaine has previously said he was inspired to duplicate the image from the 1956
French film Le Ballon Rouge where a little boy goes floating into the sky
holding onto a pack of balloons.
'Ascension' is his first live-broadcast stunt since 2012 when he spent 72 hours
standing on a pillar in New York City while being hit with one million volts of
Blaine said he has spent the last two years preparing for his latest stunt.
He says he obtained a pilot's license, a commercial balloon pilot's license and
learned to skydive ahead of the stunt.
Blaine has gained a reputation for embarking on adrenaline-pumping stunts,
including being buried in a plastic box under a three-ton water-filled tank.
In another stunt he spent seven days submerged in an eight-foot diameter
water-filled sphere in front of New York City's Lincoln Center.
He also spent nearly 64 hours trapped in a huge block of ice in Times Square.
In 2003, he carried out a stunt in London where he lasted 44 days in a suspended
box over the Thames River without food.
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