Felix Baumgartner jump: Skydiver makes new freefall record, sets new world records (Photo)

By on Oct 15, 2012 in Amazing, North America, Science Comments

Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, made a freefall jump from a helium balloon at 128,097 feet (or around 39,045 meters) above the Earth’s surface on Sunday, October 14, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico, as shown in the photos below. Baumgartner‘s free fall broke a lot of records, including the highest altitude free fall ever made. A video of the some of the highlights is also available below.

As shown by Red Bull Stratos on its official YouTube channel, where the act was shown live, Baumgartner‘s free fall maximum speed was 833 miles per hour (1,342.8 kilometers per hour) and have broken the speed of sound in freefall, which is around 690 miles per hour (or 1,110 kilometers per hour).

The helium balloon carrying the nearly 3,000-pound capsule of Felix Baumgartner was launched at around 11:25 a.m. ET, and reached the target altitude in the stratosphere after ascending for more than 2:30 hours. His freefall time was recorded to be 4:19 minutes, and is now the longest free-fall ever made.

Baumgartner‘s jump also surpassed the previous record of Joe Kittinger, who is now 84 years old and jumped from the Excelsior III at 105,000 feet on August 16, 1960. Kittinger‘s freefall last for four minutes and 36 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 614 miles per hour (or 988 kilometers per hour).

“We are going to get your goal and your dream accomplished Felix.” Joe Kittinger was quoted by the official Twitter account of Red Bull Stratos (@RedBullStratos). He was at the mission control and in direct communication with Baumgartner, who wore a specially designed pressurized suit to protect him during his free fall.

Baumgartner, 43, also a BASE jumper and is known for the dangerous daredevil stunts he has performed during his career. He now holds the world record for the highest parachute jump from a building when he jumped from the Petronas Towers in Malaysia in 1999.

Apparently, Baumgartner was supposed to make his sky jump last Tuesday, October 9, but was postponed due to due to poor weather conditions. That time, wind at the top of the helium balloon was 20 mph, which is much faster than the safe speed limit of 3 mph.

Meanwhile, Baumgartner‘s free fall also marked the 65th anniversary of the sky jump of legendary pilot Chuck Yeager, who was the first person to faster than the speed of sound (or so-called sound barrier) on October 14, 1947 via Bell X-1, at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 meters).

Although Baumgartner‘s jump has new world records, Red Bull Stratos said that the aim was to test new equipment and to develop procedures for surviving such high altitudes as well as enduring such extreme acceleration, which may be used by space professionals as well as potential space tourists in the future.

Note: The figures on Felix Baumgartner‘s freefall are still considered as preliminary records, and is still awaiting official record data from Red Bull Stratos.

Related Post: Skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumps more than 71,000 feet above earth, lands safely (Photo)


Felix Baumgartner Joe Kittinger
Joe Kittinger (left), talking to Felix Baumgartner (inside the capsule)
Image Credit: Red Bull Stratos video

Felix Baumgartner jump
Felix Baumgartner, standing outside the capsule, just seconds before he made his freefall jump
Image Credit: Red Bull Stratos video

Felix Baumgartner freefall
Felix Baumgartner (right) during his freefall, while his family and friends watch him
Image Credit: Red Bull Stratos video

Felix Baumgartner parachute
Felix Baumgartner on his parachute, moments before he landed back to Earth
Image Credit: Red Bull Stratos video

Felix Baumgartner freefall lands
Felix Baumgartner on his knees, after finally landing safely back to Earth
Image Credit: Red Bull Stratos video



Felix Baumgartner on his supersonic freefall from 128k’
Video Credit: RedBull/YouTube



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