Skydiver Felix Baumgartner Shatters Records with 120,000 ft Jump from Space
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | October 15, 2012 8:39 PM EST
Australian daredevil Felix Baumgartner on Sunday shattered a string of records after making a successful freefall jump from the edge of outer space.
Wearing a specially designed pressure suit, Baumgartner reached 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and arrived at the destination above the earth after two and a half hours.
The biggest challenge Baumgartner had to face was to balance his body as he rushed down 24 miles above the surface of the earth. There was a risk of him losing consciousness due to excessive gravitational force.
As feared, the historic-jumper was spinning out of control in the thin air of the stratosphere before the atmosphere thickened letting Baumgartner gain control and stop spinning. Overcoming the mid-air crisis, the fearless jumper rushed smoothly at supersonic speed to the earth before parachuting to the ground.
Baumgartner came down at a maximum speed of 833.9 miles per hour or Mach 1.24 and reached the ground in less than ten minutes.
According to the Red Bull Stratos team which worked with Baumgartner, this skydiving mission was to "transcend human limits that have existed for 50 years." However, they say setting or shattering record was not the priority."
Joe Kittinger, a retired Air Force colonel, previously held the record of highest-altitude jump. He performed the freefall jump from 102,800 feet in 1960.
The data gathered from Baumgartner's record jump will be used by engineers and scientists from Red Bull Stratos in developing further strategies and equipments to facilitate future jumpers aspiring to raise the bar in skydiving.
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