Skydiver’s Leap Into the Record Book
He’s not called “Fearless Felix” for nothing. On Sunday, skydiving daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space and became the first person ever to break the sound barrier. In doing so, Baumgartner achieved the astonishing speed of 833.9 miles per hour, or Mach 1.24. To put that in perspective, the 43-year-old Austrian was traveling about as fast as a supersonic jet.
“It is hard to describe [breaking the speed of sound] because I didn’t feel it,” he said afterward. “When you’re in a dead pressure suit [and without reference points] you don’t feel anything.”
Baumgartner broke three records during his historic jump over Roswell, N.M.
Aside from being the only man to achieve a supersonic skydive, the extreme athlete also broke two other records, including the highest exit from a platform at 128,000 feet and the highest free-fall without a drogue parachute, which was measured at 119,846 feet.
… Despite the momentous day, there was one record Baumgartner didn’t shatter — the longest elapsed freefall record.
Fifty-two years later, the 4 minute and 36 second record still belongs to Joe Kittinger. The 84-year-old former airforce pilot served as a mentor to Baumgartner and was in contact with him during the jump today.
— Posted by Tracy Bloom.Wait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig