High-altitude parachute jump to proceed?

Red Bull officials quietly announced in one of those coded legal statements that a lawsuit charging Red Bull with stealing the idea for a record-setting high-altitude jump has been settled. Was there a payoff? Was the case dropped? Is jumper Felix Baumgartner still trained and ready? No one was talking Saturday, July 2. The significance of the settlement is to clear the way, if Red Bull still wants to do so, for a jump from 120,000 feet by a man in a spacesuit whose body will break the sound barrier on the way down. In a previous coded Red Bull statement, the jump was to be “somewhere” in North America, meaning the Southwest according to media reports. At the time the suspension was announced the Red Bull team was within weeks if not days of the jump from a balloon gondola. Will it now proceed? The answer came in a coded e-mail just now from a Red Bull spokeswoman for this posting. “The next steps will require careful evaluation of the project across all areas and progress will be communicated accordingly.” My guess as to what that means is, “We have to decide if we still want to do this, and if we do, we have to reconstitute the whole project. Don’t bother asking until we tell you something.”

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