Baumgartner’s Space Jump Breaks 2 Records: Sound Barrier and YouTube Hits

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By Vittorio Hernandez | October 16, 2012 11:04 AM EST

Austrian sportsman Felix Baumgartner broke on Monday two world records with his successful leap from the edge of space from a balloon build for the event.

First, he broke the supersonic barrier. Second, he broke YouTube records as video of his space jump has totaled 367 million YouTube views so far.

So many groups and individuals posted and reposted the jump of Mr Baumgartner in the popular video sharing site, while repeated views of the video led to hits reaching millions in several posts.

Of course, the most popular is the 3:39 minute YouTube posting made by Mr Baumgartner's sponsor, Red Bull Stratos, which has so far reached 7.6 million hits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-TCO2IdoTA).

He leapt from 102,800 feet and broke the unofficial record set by Col. Joe Kittinger in 1960 while wearing a tight, pressurised suit designed to protect him from ebullism. It is the biggest medical risk in skydiving because when the body is exposed to a vacuum even for a short period of time, the blood could boil and cause body fluids to turn to gas.

He had previously jumped from the Petronas Towers and the Taipei 101 skyscraper. Mr Baumgartner recalled that pressure built up in his head when he reached the top speed of 1,341.97 kilometres per hour. He admitted he became terrified and feared he would black out when he spun violently out of control while 39 kilometres above the Earth.

"The exit was perfect, then I started tumbling. I thought I'd get it under control, but then it really started. I really picked up speed, it got very violent. It was really brutal at times," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mr Baumgartner.

"I thought for a few seconds, I'll fall unconscious. Thank goodness I managed to stop, it was very difficult. It was much more difficult than many of us expected," he added.

He described the fall which lasted four minutes and 20 seconds as "like swimming without touching the water." He said that every time he turns, he had to figure out what to do.

Red Bull Media House was the producer and distributor of the space jump and its video as part of the energy drink's marketing strategy. Red Bull Australia Marketing Director Andrew Wadell said the space jump is one of the extreme events that the energy drink sponsors.

"Red Bull Media House is a global company of Red Bull and it offers a variety of lifestyle and sports content," The Australian quoted Mr Waddell.

He disclosed that Red Bull, which focuses on digital or social media networks mainly for its marketing campaigns, has 31 million Facebook fans and is in the top five Facebook brands globally.

Mr Baumgartner wore a Red Bull-branded suit for the jump which created headlines around the world. The 43-year old stuntman and daredevil was born in Salzburg, Austria but spends his time between Switzerland and the U.S.

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