Felix Baumgartner Makes History, Free Falls 128,000 Feet from Space [Video]
Daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner has made it to the history-making record books.
The legendary Austrian skydiver and base jumper landed on the ground safely Sunday after a record-breaking jump from the edge of space about 128,000 feet, and more than 24 miles above the Earth, reports CNN.
Supported by NASA alum and aircraft designers from the Red Bull Stratos team, the 43-year-old Baumgartner free-fell at an estimated speed of 729 mph before he opened his parachute and glided to safety in Roswell, N.M.
“He made it – tears of joy from Mission Control,” his team said in a live feed.
His jump, however, was not the longest-lasting free fall, a distinction that still belongs to Col. Joe Kittinger, who jumped 102,800 feet in 1960 for a U.S. Air Force mission. Kittinger served as Baumgartner’s mentor – the one he listened to through his headset as he redefined human limitation. (Baumgartner’s free fall lasted an estimated 4 minutes and 22 seconds.)
Baumgartner’s fall, in which he wore a pressurized suit to protect himself in the near vacuum above Earth, was five years in the making. Earlier in the week, the jump was rescheduled due to high winds. Even Sunday, uncertainty remained over whether he’d take the plunge and become the first person to break the sound barrier sans the safeguard of a vehicle. (An official confirmation is not yet available.)
“You have to remember all the procedures,” he explained in an interview while prepping for the jump. “You know you’re in a really hostile environment. And you cannot think about anything else. You have to be focused. Otherwise, you’re going to die.”
Need we say Goodlawd?