Watch David Blaine’s ‘Up’-Inspired Live ‘Ascension’ Stunt Here (Video)

Hey, it worked for the old man (and his house)

Last Updated: September 2, 2020 @ 10:28 AM
[UPDATE: David Blaine landed safely! For a full recap of the stunt, click here.]

David Blaine is about to take off high above the Arizona desert, armed with (what appears to be) just 52 colorful balloons stacked 50 feet high. There’s also one special very mechanical payload “balloon” that is technically an experimental aircraft.

When Blaine climbs to about three miles above sea level, he plans to release the balloons, free fall a bit, and parachute back down to earth.

Preferably safely, of course.

Yes, the illusionist’s latest death-defying stunt, titled “Ascension,” is all very “Up”-like — just without the house, the old man and the young scout.

Watch the livestream via the video above.

Launch was planned for 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT, but weather delayed that a bit. Now we can expect Blaine to take off by 10:45 a.m. ET/7:45 a.m. PT, wind and weather-permitting.

Blaine was originally supposed to perform the stunt Aug. 31 in New York City.

Here’s the logline: David Blaine redefines magic once again for an unprecedented live event at a time when the world could use a positive distraction. Bringing wonder, hope and untethered possibility, David tackles his most ambitious and revolutionary feat yet.

To prepare, Blaine had to become a licensed hot-air-balloon pilot — but he’ll have no basket for the actual stunt.

The 47-year-old illusionist is known for taking on high-endurance feats, like burying himself alive in an underground, water-surrounded box for seven days and encasing himself in a block of ice for several hours in Times Square.

Blaine’s Navy S.E.A.L.-esque breathing techniques will come in handy for this one, as the magician attempts to ward off hypoxia (a dangerous condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level).

His seemingly non-human tolerance to withstand cold temperatures will also prove to be key, despite being above the desert at the end of summer.