After flying to an altitude of 128,000 feet or 39,045 metres in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner completed a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane.
Felix reached a maximum of speed of 1,342.8 km/h (833mph) through the near vacuum of the stratosphere – making him the first human to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft – before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4 minute 20 second long freefall. The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight).
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Once down, he fell to his knees and raised his fists in triumph. Helicopter recovery teams were on hand moments later. He said afterwards at a media conference:
“Let me tell you – when I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble. You don’t think about breaking records anymore, you don’t think about gaining scientific data – the only thing that you want is to come back alive.”
In addition to all of this his jump from the edge of space broke a record for the “live stream with the most concurrent views ever on YouTube,” according to the video-sharing website. At peak, there were more than 8 million concurrent live streams, YouTube said in a Sunday blog post. The jump was broadcast on Red Bull’s YouTube channel.