Last year, I wrote about Felix Baumgartner and Michel Fournier, two skydivers who were both trying to jump from the edge of space.
Baumgartner’s dive was sponsored by Red Bull. Fournier’s was self-funded and multiple decades in the making. Unfortunately, a series of setbacks prevented Fournier’s dive from happening, and a Baumgartner’s dive was put on indefinite hold.
Since then, Baumgartner’s attempt started moving forward again, and over the weekend he successfully jumped from 128,000 feet (24 miles) above the earth. He reached an estimated speed of 833.9 mph, and broke the sound barrier. He’s the first person to do so in free fall.
This video of the jump is simply amazing…
The previous record holder for a jump of this nature was Colonel Joseph Kittinger, “a test pilot, who completed a series of high-altitude jumps from a helium balloon in August 1960, part of an equipment-testing project for the agency that would become NASA,” according to the Guardian.
Kittinger jumped from a height of 102,800 and travelled 614 mph, just shy of the speed of sound. He’s refused to get involved in any attempts to break his record until now. He was actually in mission control center for Baumgartner’s jump, and was his primary radio contact.
I’m not old enough to have seen space race or our mission to the moon, but I imagine it felt a little something like watching this happen did.