Red Bull sponsorship of Felix Baumgartner’s attempt to break the speed of sound led to a jump from the stratosphere, with Felix reaching an estimated speed of 833.9 mph (1,342.8 km/h). Felix climbed to 128,100 feet (39,045 meters) in a helium-filled balloon Sunday morning Oct. 14, 2012, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket powered airplane. Felix broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the longest freefall record to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger. Red Bull promoted the Red Bull Stratos project with a live Youtube videocast, follow-up online videos, a microsite, redbullstratos.com, and a range of Red Bull Stratos merchandise.
Click on the image below to play the Mission Accomplished video in YouTube (HD)
Click on the image below to play the World Record Highlights video in YouTube (HD)
Click on the image below to play the Felix Baumgartner’s Point of View video in YouTube (HD)
Felix’s entire trip back to earth lasted 9:09 minutes, with 4:22 of that time in freefall (without drogue). Countless millions of people around the world watched his ascent and jump live on television broadcasts and live stream on the Internet. At one point during his freefall Baumgartner appeared to spin rapidly, but he quickly re-gained control and moments later opened his parachute as members of the ground crew cheered and viewers around the world heaved a sigh of relief.
“It was an incredible up and down today, just like it’s been with the whole project,” a relieved Baumgartner said. “First we got off with a beautiful launch and then we had a bit of drama with a power supply issue to my visor. The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I’d just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I’d lose consciousness. I didn’t feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself. We’ll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”