Sometimes throughout life people may want to be adventurous and look for activities to get their heart beating fast. You could probably label them as “Thrill Seekers”.
For one particular thrill seeker he wanted to do something that no human being has ever successfully done by skydiving from space. 43 year old Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner set the world record for skydiving on Sunday October, 14, 2012.
The jump was originally cancelled by Red Bull for the safety of Baumgartner; it was said to be cancelled due to high winds. The high winds were a concern because the fragile helium balloon device, the skydiver traveled up to space in, could not take too much wind, but with the capsule attached it made it work successfully.
With a giant leap from space Baumgartner skydived 24 miles above the earth at an unbelievable speed of Mach 1.24 for just under 5 minutes. It was reported that at one point during his decent he was clocked at going 833 mph. That is crazy fast for a human that is not attached to a jet pack or any other booster gadgets.
According to his team, the only thing they really feared was their skydiver spinning out of control too fast and losing consciousness. They mentioned that they expected Baumgartner to initially spin out of control due to the height and speed he would be going, but knew that their skydiver would get it under control and ultimately break the speed of sound; sound barrier.
“Of course it was terrifying … I was frightened all the way down to regain control after spinning out of control, but I wanted to break the speed of sound and I hit it. I don’t know after how many seconds, but I could feel air was pulling up, and I hit it,” Baumgartner said.
He touched down in the deserts of New Mexico successfully and with a huge smile on his face, once on the ground he finally got to embrace what he just accomplish, and at the same time tell people what he was thinking before he jumped.
“It was harder than I expected, trust me when you stand up there on top of the world, you become so humble and realize it’s not about breaking records any more. It’s not even about getting scientific data. It’s all about getting home,” Baumgartner said.
Along with being the only man to achieve a supersonic skydive; he also broke two other world records that had not been reached for half a century. He now has the record for the highest exit from a platform at 128,000 feet, and the highest free-fall without a drogue parachute, measured at 119,846 feet.
Interesting enough 84 year old Joe Kittinger who was the previous record holder was actually on headset with Baumgartner before he jumped. Kittinger simply told Baumgartner to stay calm and relax and that their guardian angels will take care of him. Kittinger also expressed the success of the new world breaking jump, and what it means to science now.
“He demonstrated that a man could survive in an extremely high altitude escape situation, I know future astronauts will wear the spacesuit that Felix test-jumped in,” Kittinger said.
The jump was indeed extraordinary, record breaking, and has provided NASA with a huge boost in designing new suites for astronauts. Baumgartner has still stayed humble and modest as he expressed his personally views.
“Honestly I want to inspire the next generation, I would love if there was a young guy sitting next to me asking what my advice is, wanting to break my record.” Baumgartner said.
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