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Find the 'Thrill Factor' with former 'MythBusters' cast

Kari Byron and Tory Belleci star in a new Travel Channel show all about adrenaline-pumping adventures. CNET chats with the hosts on the physics of frantic fun.

Kari Byron and Tory Belleci test thrill rides in the name of science. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Roller coasters, waterslides, skydiving and other adventurous attractions are no match for reality show science stars and former Kari Byron and Tory Belleci.

"Thrill Factor" -- a new 10-part TV series that explores the science behind some of the most exciting excursions hosted by Byron and Belleci -- debuts with back-to-back episodes on Travel Channel on August 12. (Fans in the UK and Australia, check your local Travel Channel website for the time and date of the episode.)

"After 'Mythbusters' ended, I was looking for fun projects that are both intelligent and entertaining," Byron told CNET's Crave blog. "I always loved being a part of smart TV. 'Thrill Factor' and Travel Channel called at just the right time. Who wouldn't want to do a show about the science of thrill rides?"

Byron and Belleci start the series off in the premiere episode with a frightful fall via one of the tallest freestanding drop rides in the world.

"Tory has an intense fear of heights and I haven't been on a drop ride for years," Byron told Crave. "When we arrived at Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida to see Falcon's Fury, I may have had second thoughts about this show. It is the tallest freestanding drop ride of its kind."

"What makes it special is that when you finally reach the top, the seats snap back and face you straight down," Byron added. "Then you hang for an undetermined amount of time so you can really build up a panic. By the time I got off the ride my legs were buckling and my hands were shaking. It was awesome."

If freestanding drop rides aren't enough to make you gasp, the duo also jumped off very tall buildings in the name of science.

Hosts Kari Byron and Tory Belleci are all smiles before the screaming begins. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

"I was terrified to jump off the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas," Byron told Crave. "It is a 108-story decelerated fall to the ground. Looking out over the edge, there was a moment where I didn't think I could do it. The drop is so long that I actually had time to run out of scream, compose myself and enjoy the view. I landed with a full adrenaline buzz. I instantly wanted to do it again."

"It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and just talking about it is making my hands sweat," Belleci added. "I'm glad I did it, but once was enough."

show's hosts hearts beat in double time as they duplicate the kind of antics meant more for stunt people and superheroes. Byron and Belleci test these hair-raising experiences, collect data using high-tech bio sensors and then determine what it is that makes these moments so scream-worthy.

"My favorite thrill ride by far was flying stunt planes in Vegas at Sky Combat Ace," Belleci told Crave. "We were testing how G-forces effect brain activity and we actually got to fly the planes! In another episode, I get to drive a Formula 3 race car at the Sonoma Raceway. Talk about taking the thrill into your own hands. It's hard to believe this is our job."

For fans who want to follow in Byron and Belleci's fearless footsteps, the hosts have some rather sound advice.

"I say scream your heart out," Byron suggested. Said Belleci, "And don't forget to breathe."