On 14 October, 2012, Felix Baumgartner ascended to an altitude of 127,851 feet–more than 23 miles above the ground in a specifically-designed stratospheric balloon. Sponsored by Red Bull, the event was seen by millions all over the world, watching with breathless anticipation as the door to the hatch rolled open and Baumgartner stepped out for his parachute jump.
During his subsequent freefall, Baumgartner broke three world records, all verified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI):
- He broke the sound barrier, reaching a maximum speed of 843.6 miles per hour in freefall (Mach 1.25), the only person in history to do so without powered assistance. And, he did it 65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time.
- He broke the unofficial record for the highest manned balloon flight (23.3884 miles above Earth’s surface).
- He broke the record for the highest-altitude parachute jump, set by his friend and mentor Joseph Kittinger.
This is the footage from the other GoPro cameras attached to Baumgartner’s body. There were seven cameras total as he stepped off, and to try to describe the view would only cheapen the magnitude of the event and Baumgartner’s accomplishment. Even if you’ve seen this one before, it’s definitely worth another look!
So without further ado, step off the platform…and experience it for yourself.
(Featured photo courtesy of Red Bull)