Well, Felix Baumgartner has gone and done it. The Austrian skydiver pulled off the ultimate daredevil feat when he jumped from a capsule more than 24 miles (128,100 feet) above the Earth and landed on his feet like a boss. This record setting space jump has been in the works since 2003 and was about 1.5 miles higher than expected. I’ll be honest with you guys, when I’ve seen the balloon going this high I’ve thought it won’t stop but luckily for all of us it all went great.
In the process, Felix broke the record for the world’s highest parachute jump, the highest manned balloon flight and he also became the first skydiver to exceed the speed of sound, reaching an estimated speed of 833.9 mph (or 1342.8 km/h) during the freefall. That’s Mach 1.24, the first supersonic skydive, but more important than all these records is that he lived to tell the tale.
Even Felix declared after the jump that “when you stand up there on top of the world, you become so humble. It’s not about breaking records anymore. It’s not about getting scientific data. It’s all about coming home.” It took him two hours and 21 minutes to reach the height and the descent took just around 10 minutes, 4:20 freefalling through the stratosphere.
Felix Baumgartner broke records set 52 years ago by Air Force test pilot (and his project mentor now) Joe Kittinger, who still kept the record for the longest freefall. Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are – that’s what Felix said before his jump. Man of the moment? Totally!