Felix Baumgartner is a man who has leaped from something approximating space, and lived to tell the tale. The good sir, with Red Bull as his co-pilot and sponsor, plummeted to the Earth from 13-miles up.
On the left, Felix Baumgartner salutes as he starts his walk towards his space capsule in Roswell, New Mexico, on March 15. On the right, the moment before he jumped from 13 miles up in the sky. That photo alone blows my mind.
The 42-year-old Baumgartner–in a fully pressurized jump suit–got into his specially designed Red Bull Stratos capsule to reach the 13.6 miles mark in the first successful test towards his world record-breaking space jump. The capsule, attached to a 100-foot-wide helium balloon, only took him to 71,581 feet this time. He then jumped into a free fall that lasted for three minutes and 43 seconds. He reached a speed of 364.4 miles per hour (586.4 kilometers per hour).
To give you an idea of how amazing this is already, a Boeing 747 normally flies at about 8.6 miles high (14,000 meters).
And yet, it is nothing compared to what is coming. Baumgartner wants to jump from an altitude of 23 miles (120,000 feet or 37 kilometers), getting close to the edge of the stratosphere. When he does that, he will fall for an estimated 5 minutes and 30 seconds,breaking the speed of sound in the process. After flying at Mach 1 for a while, he will open his parachute at one mile (about 1,500 meters). If everything goes ok, he will reach the ground 10 minutes later.
Fucking amazing. Here’s hoping he can pull it off. It’d be a bit of a drag on this feel-good moment if he got vaporized next summer.