Daredevil Felix Baumgartner successfully leapt from a capsule that was 39km above the earth and amazingly he was in free-fall for over four minutes, reaching a top speed of 1324km/h which is supposed to be 1.24 times the speed of sound.
He was originally supposed to jump on October 9 as part of the Red Bull Stratos mission (Red Bull Stratos–LiveJump) but aborted due to poor weather conditions. At last minute, the Austrian daredevil almost had to abort his mission due to visor problems but decided to go ahead regardless. It took him about two hours to reach his point of descent. He was originally expected to jump from a height of 120 000 feet but the helium filled balloon took him to a height of 128 097 feet. Just before he jumped he quoted Neil Armstrong on a distorted radio link, “Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are.” He initially had a perfect start but began tumbling uncontrollably until he was able to regain control. Excessive g-force could have made him lose consciousness and a slight malfunction of his suit could have rendered disastrous consequences as he endured temperatures of 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.
The world let out a sigh of relief in unison when his parachute opened and he gently floated down to a desert in Mexico. Baumgartner set a new record for the highest free fall and it was indeed a harrowing experience. “When you’re standing there on top of the world you become so humble… The only thing is you want to come back alive,” he commented.
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