Austria’s Felix Baumgartner earned his place in the history books on Sunday after overcoming concerns with the power for his visor heater that impaired his vision and nearly jeopardized the mission. Baumgartner reached an estimated speed of 1,137 km jumping from the stratosphere, which when certified will make him the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall and set several other records* while delivering valuable data for future space exploration.
ROSWELL, New Mexico – After flying to an altitude of 39,044 meters (128,097 feet) in a helium-filled balloon on Sunday morning, Felix Baumgartner completed a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the one for the longest freefall to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.
Baumgartner landed safely with his parachute in the desert of New Mexico after jumping out of his space capsule at 39,044 meters and plunging 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. Countless millions of people around the world watched his ascent and jump live on television broadcasts and live stream on the Internet. At one point during his freefall Baumgartner appeared to spin rapidly, but he quickly re-gained control and moments later opened his parachute as members of the ground crew cheered and viewers around the world heaved a sigh of relief.
* The data on the records set by the jump are preliminary pending confirmation from the authorized governing bodies.
Twin Atlantic’s Spaced Out version of Free created specifically for the event was used as the official soundtrack to the event and on the highlights clip which is available to download here: http://smarturl.it/tafreespacedout