I only caught the last part of Red Bull Stratos‘ live stream of Felix Baumgartner‘s record-breaking jump from the edge of space last night. So I only found out this morning that it didn’t all go according to plan. Speaking after his safe landing in the New Mexico desert, Baumgartner said there was a period during the fall when he considered pressing the emergency button.
Felix said, ‘I knew if I pushed that button, this thing is all over, we’re not going to go supersonic. Do I push that button and stay alive or fight the whole way down and break the speed of sound?’
Being the complete nutcase that he is, he kept his hands to himself and just let himself plummet to earth, of course. Check out the first headcam footage of his space wobbly here:
Pretty crazy. Red Bull officials said while the spin may have been fatal the problem had been thought of in advance and plans had been made to control it. Thanks for that Red Bull, while it stopped Felix from hitting the brakes it probably didn’t stop him from putting skidmarks all the way down his shiny white space suit.
The most interesting part, for me however, is that while Baumgartner successfully broke the sound barrier during the fall and set the world record for highest jump, he failed to set the record for longest freefall. That record was set in 1960 by Col. Joe Kittinger, in what I assume back then (when compared to the technology used for Felix’s jump) must have been just a bedsheet and some box string. Here’s his jump:
In a battle of daredevil vs daredevil? I’d say the old boy Col. Joe Kittinger takes this one hands down.
Did you watch the jump? What did you think?