Felix Baumgartner Sets Highest Jump Ever Made (Video)
Can you imagine jumping literally on top of the world? Felix Baumgartner had done four world records that were definitely hard to beat. Also known as “Fearless Felix”, the 43-year old former Austrian paratrooper set the world records for being the first person to reach the speed of sound without traveling a jet, the highest free fall and the highest manned balloon flight. All of these were done while accomplishing the highest jump ever made by a human.
Felix rode a capsule carried by a 55-story ultra thin helium-filled balloon on Sunday, October 14, 2012, and reached a height of 128,100 feet (39,045 meters). Wearing a pressurized suit for his feat, he stood in the doorway of his capsule and just before he made the historic jump, he waved in front of the millions of viewers watching him on the internet.
The 43-year old veteran jumper, with more than 2,500 jumps on record, narrated the feeling when he jumped out of the capsule. Observers became anxious as he appeared to spin uncontrollably.
“When I was spinning first 10, 20 seconds, I never thought I was going to lose my life but I was disappointed because I’m going to lose my record. I put seven years of my life into this. In that situation, when you spin around, it’s like hell and you don’t know if you can get out of that spin or not. Of course it was terrifying. I was fighting all the way down because I knew that there must be a moment where I can handle it,” he said.
Felix’s descent from his capsule on space lasted just over nine minutes, opening his parachute at 5,000 feet, and landing on the fields of New Mexico. Brian Utley, a jump observer from the FAI, a group responsible to maintain the integrity of aviation records, said that about half his descent was on a free fall of 119,846 feet, thereby accomplishing the world record for the highest free fall at 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
He also described the feeling of traveling faster than the speed of sound as he reportedly reached Mach 1.24, or 833.9 mph, according to preliminary data. He said that he didn’t feel it because of his suit.
After his historic jump, Felix described the feeling of being small and being humble when reaching the top of the world. “When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about breaking records anymore, you do not think about gaining scientific data. The only thing you want is to come back alive. Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are,” he said.
Below are the videos uploaded by RedBull, the event’s sponsor, on Youtube generating 10 million and 800,000 views, respectively as of this posting: