After flying to an altitude of 39,044 meters (128,097 feet) in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner & Red Bull completed a record breaking “jump from the edge of space.” The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the longest freefall record to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.
Baumgartner landed safely in Roswell, New Mexico after jumping out of his space capsule at 39,044 meters and plummeting back towards earth, hitting a maximum of speed of 1,137 km/h through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4:19-minute long freefall. Baumgartner’s jump lasted a total of 9:03 minutes.
“It was an incredible up and down today, just like it’s been with the whole project,” said Baumgartner. “First we got off with a beautiful launch and then we had a bit of drama with a power supply issue to my visor. The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I’d just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I’d lose consciousness. I didn’t feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself. We’ll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”
Read more now at Red Bull Stratos.