Felix Baumgartner: 10 years on, the man who fell to earth is still awed by experience


After six years of preparation, wrestle and sacrifice, Felix Baumgartner discovered himself fairly actually on the fringe of the world.

“I’m standing there on prime of the world outdoors of a capsule in area and in the stratosphere. I regarded round the sky above me was utterly black,” Baumgartner instructed CNN Sport’s Patrick Snell as he mirrored on his Red Bull Stratos freefall in October 2012, as he checked out Earth from a vantage level of 127,852 toes (some 24 miles/39 kilometres).

“I used to be actually attempting to inhale that moment,” added Baumgartner.

And with extra that eight million folks watching on YouTube, the Austrian daredevil uttered these well-known phrases: “Sometimes you may have to go up to perceive how small you’re. I’m coming residence now.”


It was a venture that was initially anticipated to take 24 months from begin to end however ended up a taking over a quantity extra years.

“We thought, we’re going to construct the capsule, construct the stress go well with, observe for some time, after which we go all the approach up to the stratosphere and are available again to Earth at supersonic pace,” says Baumgartner.

“Sometimes we might go into a gathering with three issues after which go away that assembly eight hours later with one other 5 … and no resolution for the earlier issues.”

To get Baumgartner up to the stratosphere, his group had to assemble a helium balloon the measurement of 33 soccer pitches — weighing 3,708lbs. It took as many as 20 folks to transfer with out damaging the balloon’s materials that was 10 occasions thinner than a sandwich bag.

But the largest menace to the venture was maybe the most unexpected — Baumgartner’s psychological fortitude.

The go well with had to be each pressurized and ready to deal with temperatures of minus 72° Celsius (minus 97.6° Farenheit).

“It’s very uncomfortable,” says Baumgartner. “You have a complete lack of mobility. It at all times feels such as you’re respiratory by way of a pillow. You’re utterly separated from the outdoors world. So as soon as the visor is down, all you possibly can hear is your self respiratory.”

The prospect of lasting up to eight hours in the stress go well with would take Baumgartner various months — and assist from psychiatrists and sports activities psychologists — to settle for.

“I had to take a look at the go well with prefer it is my buddy, not my enemy,” provides Baumgartner.


The Austrian jumped from the balloon successfully whereas in area, the place the regular guidelines of sky diving don’t apply.

He spent the subsequent 9 minutes falling by way of the sky, half of which have been in full freefall.

“Once I used to be on my approach, I slowly began to spin in a single path, then I begin spinning in the other way, after which I actually began spinning quicker and quicker and quicker,” Baumgartner defined.

Baumgartner hadn’t been ready to practice for freefall in area, in order that spinning sensation was extraordinarily disconcerting.

“This was a really alarming moment as a result of there is no protocol,” the 53-year-old stated as he plummeted at a pace of 843.6 mph (1357.64 kmh) — 1.25 occasions that of sound. “It’s like crusing with out wind which means your abilities don’t work.”

He ultimately handed by way of the Armstrong line, the place the air turns into thicker, and Baumgartner was ready to stabilize himself and began to “take pleasure in my skydive.”

“Once I opened my parachute and opened my visor, this was the first moment after seven hours the place I used to be respiratory outdoors air. I used to be reconnected to the outdoors world, and that was a really comfortable moment.

“The solely factor that I did not know after I landed was: did I break the pace of sound? (*10*), when you’re in freefall, you recognize you are quick, however you may have completely no indication of how briskly you really are.”

Baumgartner endured an agonizing 10-minute wait — extra time than when he was really in the air — earlier than he acquired affirmation that he hit a prime pace of 844mph, over 75mph quicker than the pace of sound.

“And at that moment I used to be actually comfortable and glad as a result of to me, breaking the pace of sound as a human, the first human in historical past, that was positively one thing.”


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