Fearless Felix breaks the records
The world I think is divided into two - those who believe Felix Baumgartner freefalling from the edge of space was stupid and those who find it fascinating. I am in the latter camp. I thought it was great to watch. Really compelling for a guy just falling.
I was out Sunday around noon when I heard that the attempt was on. I got home when he was 3/4 of the way up and I stayed glued to the TV for the next 45 minutes, which is really tough for me when the NFL is on. Good for Sportsnet for getting the broadcast rights in Canada. Probably because there were the delays from last week, the story had a chance to build.
I read last week all about the technical details with the attempts, such as the as balloon material being thinner than a dry-cleaner bag to save on weight, and how many people were involved and it looked like a mini-NASA with the control room. When he finally got to the right altitude, it was something to hear how many items he had to go through on his egress list before he stepped into the void. It was pretty cool that the former record holder, eighty-four year old Joe Kittinger, who set the mark back in 1960, was the the guy going through that checklist with him.
And when you saw the occasional momentary delay from Felix as he went through the list, you understood. I can only imagine Felix, with a hundred pound pressure suit on, wanted to just make sure in his mind with every step that he was ready. Then, he opened the door to the capsule and the Earth, in all its' wondrous beauty was beneath him. A few checks to make sure his parachute was ready, he stepped on the deck, and then into the history books.
All told, Felix broke four records:for highest skydive from 128,097 feet or 38,044 metres; longest freefall without a chute; highest manned balloon flight which he broke of course on the way up; and fastest freefall when he hit speeds of 833 mph or just over 1340 kph.
But, enough of my descriptions. To fully appreciate it, check out the below videos.
1) The complete jump from 38 kilometres:
2) Here is the ninety-second highlight video of today's jump:
3) Here is an interesting video on the balloon required to take the capsule up: