The former military parachutist rose in a purpose-built capsule beneath a giant helium balloon to a height of more than 128,000ft that is almost four times the height of a cruising passenger airliner.
It took the professional skydiver about two-and-a-half hours to reach 128,100ft above the New Mexico desert – and less than ten minutes to reach the Earth. Felix`s historic leap was broadcast on television around the world. Just before the jump, the 43 year-old sat nervously on the edge of his capsule, looking down at Earth.
According to The Telegraph, he gave a short speech ahead of his leap: ‚ÄúI know the whole world is watching right now and I wish the world could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are.‚ÄĚ Next he added: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm going over‚ÄĚ before jumping.
Infrared cameras captured him as he initially tumbled in the air before settling into a steady head-first descent: “When I was spinning first 10, 20 seconds, I never thought I was going to lose my life but I was disappointed because I’m going to lose my record. I put seven years of my life into this,” he said.
He added: “In that situation, when you spin around, it’s like hell and you don’t know if you can get out of that spin or not. Of course it was terrifying. I was fighting all the way down because I knew that there must be a moment where I can handle it.”
When Baumgartner landed , he complained that his visor was steaming up before he pulled his parachute cord. After two or three minutes he appeared against the cloudless blue sky before steering himself to safety.
Baumgartner said traveling faster than sound is “hard to describe because you don’t feel it.” His pressurized suit did not let him feel the rushing air or even the loud noise he made when breaking the sound.
The man which is known as “Fearless Felix” was met by sheer applause and tears of his family and friends, including his parents, Ava and Felix, and girlfriend, Nicole Oetl, who had travelled to New Mexico.
Speaking afterwards he said: “Trust me, when you stand up there on top of the world, you become so humble. ‘It’s not about breaking records any more. It’s not about getting scientific data. It’s all about coming home. You do not want to die in front of your parents and all these people….I thought ‘please God, don‚Äôt let me down.‚ÄĚ
As Mail Online says, the physical effects of breaking the sound barrier in freefall could have been disastrous ‚Äď his blood could boil and his brain explode and all just because of the slightest mistakeAs he ascended, the mission was on the verge of cancelling. As he reported that the heating device in his visor was not working properly.
But after a discussion with his mentor Joe Kittinger – an 84-year-old U.S. Air Force colonel who set the previous freefall record in 1960 when he jumped from 102,800 feet – he decided to go ahead.
The number of viewers watching on YouTube Felix grew up rapidly; more than 8 million people watched the event! Baumgartner’s sponsor, Red Bull, posted a picture of him on his knees on the ground to Facebook, generating nearly 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and more than 29,000 shares in less than 40 minutes, states The Huff Post.
After this historic achievement, the fearless man does not want to stop! Baumgartner‚Äôs next aim is to conquer the sky once again. But this time his height will be much lower.
What concerns his personal life, he is planning to settle down with his girlfriend in the USA, but it is in no way means that he will forget about Austria. He plans to fly helicopters, performing mountain rescues and firefighting there.
But before doing all these things he said, “I’ll go back to LA to chill out for a few days … will take it easy as hell, trust me.”