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Man Plummets Toward Earth From Space, Becomes 1st Human To Break The Sound Barrier!

man in space suit looks down at earth

Skydiving is no joke. You strap to a professional, fly up about 14,000 feet, and jump out of a moving plane. It’s insanity. But for thrill seeker Felix Baumgartner, regular skydiving wasn’t going to cut it. He wanted to be the first man to break the sound barrier.

In 2012, Felix partnered with Red Bull to pull off the craziest jump the world had ever seen.

With the Red Bull Stratos Project team watching closely from below, Felix took a helium balloon into the sky, stopping at a height of 127,852 feet.

He’s surrounded by black sky with a clear view of the earth below.

Felix Baumgartner falling through the sky in a spacesuit
This image is from YouTube.

Can you even imagine?

Then… he jumps!

He needed to get the angle of the jump just right, because if he overpowered his leap, he’d begin spinning. The weight of the suit was a vital part of the calculation.

Once he leapt off the balloon, all was going smoothly. At around 34 seconds, he hit Mach 1, breaking the sound barrier. The team wasn’t sure if he’d stay steady or if he’d begin spinning at this time. If the spinning got out of control, things could take a turn for the worst.

“The problem is, there’s no protocol. There’s nobody in the world telling you, ‘Listen, Felix, if this happens, you have to do this,’ while the whole world is watching,” Felix explained.

He put his life on the line to get answers to questions scientists hadn’t previously been able to answer.

Felix did begin spinning rather quickly, but thankfully, he was equipped with a device to help slow his fall. The G-Whiz fires a chute that aids in stopping the spinning. It deployed brilliantly, and the rest of the fall went off without a hitch.

It’s absolutely wild to consider the things humans have accomplished with collaboration, technology, and bravery. The Red Bull Stratos Project pushed the barrier of what humans had ever done before. Felix broke three records: First human to break the sound barrier in freefall, highest freefall parachute jump (38,969.4 m or 127,852 ft) and fastest speed in freefall (1,357.6 km/h or 843.6 mph).

Watch the full clip below to see the amazing flight!

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