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Falling down: Felix Baumgartner breaks sound barrier in record parachute leap

Oct 15, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Felix Baumgartner AP

How long do you think it would take you to make it to the ground after jumping from a record 128,100 feet (24 miles)? OK, the last 3,000 feet or so you’re slowed down by the parachute. So we know the answer thanks to Austrian daredevil/crazy person Felix Baumgartner, who successfully made the jump in just over nine minutes from a balloon on Sunday over New Mexico.

Freefall time: 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

Freefall distance: 119,846 feet.

Maximum velocity: 833.9 mph (breaking the sound barrier).

“Let me tell you – when I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble. You don’t think about breaking records anymore, you don’t think about gaining scientific data – the only thing that you want is to come back alive,” he said afterwards at a media conference.

source: Reuters

Baumgartner had aborted a previous jump attempt last week due to high wind at the launch site (Roswell, N.M.). And this jump was almost scratched when the visor of his space suit fogged up when he exhaled, just before jumping. He had to use a space suit, and a pressurized space capsule, because there’s only about 2 percent oxygen from that height.

The Red Bull Stratos team insists that the jump provided useful scientific data, although I don’t know why we would need to send men hurtling from balloons at 24 miles up anytime in the future.

But Baumgartner failed in one respect: since he’s not on Twitter, he couldn’t set the record for world’s highest tweet.

Update: Apparently, at some point he went into an uncontrolled spin.

  1. manchestermiracle - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    A few thoughts come to mind:

    What useful data is obtained by this? It just sounds like a stunt. He and his team mention “scientific data,” but offer no examples.

    It seems he missed an opportunity to include another “record” in his jump, that of the inane Twitter variety.

    Since when is falling considered a sport?

    • ThatGuy - Oct 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Apparently alot of the research revolved around the suit he was wearing as it was based on NASA’s future space suit, so they were participating and collecting data.

      • manchestermiracle - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Thank you.

  2. t16rich - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Absolutely insane. A human being broke the sound barrier. Wow. Not a human being in control of a jet fighter, but a man jumping from the edge of space. I’m not a follower of all these adrenaline or extreme sports, but I have nothing but respect for the people who are riding 90 foot waves or jumping out of space and taking the extreme aspect to a whole other level.

  3. mybrunoblog - Oct 15, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    This is really cool and all but Kirk and Sulu did this in the last Star Trek movie so it’s not like we haven’t seen this before.