Regardless of what you think about the ridiculously named Felix Baumgartner (translates as tree gardener apparently) crazy stunt, there’s no denying the guy has got some balls doing what he did.
Jumping out a balloon-powered space capsule from 128,000 feet, spinning apparently out of control for part of the plunge – yet still not passing out or screaming for your Mum – is a truly incredible feat. Personally I get a bit giddy on top of a kids’ rollercoaster so I can’t imagine what free falling at Mach 1.24 (833 miles per hour) at temperatures of -68 degrees centigrade must feel like. All on the 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeagar breaking the sound barrier for the first time – though of course he did in a plane, the wimp.
Apparently Baumgartner, his sponsor Red Bull and YouTube have set another record too. During last night’s stunt there were more than two million concurrent livestreams of the event going out around the world. The previous record for a single web video service was around 500,000 concurrent streams, which Google served up during the Olympics this summer.
You can see the whole thing here:
And you can see highlights here:
(By the way rumours of RyanAir’s Michael O’Leary introducing parachute drop offs from aircraft as a way of saving on landing fees are completely unfounded)
For more information on the world record breaking jump go here.