Felix Baumgartner is a true historical figure. The crazy base jumper has now completed what I would have thought was an impossibility, certainly in my lifetime. The Austrian has become the first man to literally fall to Earth from space! This amazing feat was streamed live on the internet yesterday and despite the helium filled balloon taking a time of 2 hours 30 minutes to reach its optimum height, it was worth the wait.
Following a checklist communicated by Joseph Kittinger, himself a record holder, Baumgartner stepped off the edge of his capsule to begin his freefall. After some agonising moments where we saw him in a complete flatspin owing to the complete lack of resistance at that height, he held it together and came out of the spin into a perfect freefall before deploying his parachute after 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
He now becomes the record holder for the highest manned balloon flight, the highest freefall and the best one for me was the fastest freefall in history – 833.9 MPH which makes him the first human being to break the sound barrier without a vehicle. I think this is a mind-boggling achievement and I have described it as my generation’s Chuck Yeager moment. Fittingly enough, the date that Baumgartner has achieved this feat is exactly 65 years after Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier in a jet. A very nice tribute I think.
Here is a highlights video of Baumgartner’s amazing fall to Earth. I love the moment he lands. Enjoy!