Oct 15, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT
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.
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.
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- What’s with kids and all these death-defying stunts? 674
- Nothing to see here…just a 70-yard field goal by a high-schooler (video) 3
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