Felix Baumgartner Space Jump: Record Free Fall Attempt Is Must See Event

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIFebruary 8, 2012

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - DECEMBER 12: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - NO SALES, NO ARCHIVING) In this handout provided by Euro-Newsroom, a 38-year-old Felix Baumgartner, Austrian base jumper, makes a jump off the world's tallest completed building, the 508-meter high Taipei 101 Tower, December 12, 2007 in Taipei,Taiwan.   (Photo by Joerg Mitter/Euro-Newsroom via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Any time I hear that someone is going to try to break multiple records that can realistically never be broken, it's hard to look away. 

That is what makes Austrian Felix Baumgartner's 120,000 foot free fall attempt so intriguing. According to Clara Moskowitz of Space.com, a successful free fall would be historical from multiple perspectives. 

If he can do it, he'll become the first person to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft. He'll also break a trio of other records that have stood for more than 50 years: Baumgartner's plunge would mark the highest skydive, the highest manned balloon flight and the longest free fall, at about 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

There you have it. These are not records that we'll ever see even tried. Ultimately it starts with the length of the jump, which is what makes this one so phenomenal. This record would not only break the all-time free fall record, but it would literally do so by miles. 

Angela Daidone of NewJerseyNewsRoom.com said that this would break the existing record for longest free fall, which is owned by U.S. Air Force colonel Joe Kittinger, who jumped from 102,800 feet in 1960. 


Baumgartner's mark would break that record by more than three miles. That is a staggering difference. There is no way that any of those records will ever be broken unless someone jumps from a higher distance. That would not only be insane, but nearly impossible.  

The pure physics of the situation make it so you really can't jump from much higher. The only proof of that is how long it's taken for this record to fall. If people could jump from a higher distance, they would have done so at some point over the last 52 years. 

Remember that in the time since Kittinger's jump, we've seen Evel Kenevil spark an interest in being a daredevil. If anyone was ever going to try what Baumgartner is doing, it would have happened then.

The fact that Baumgartner is going to break this record by such a big amount is the only sign you need that this will never be attempted. But for everything he's trying, the reason to watch is that it won't take much to do so.

We're talking about fewer than six minutes to see a human being break the sound barrier without anything other than his body. 

With so many records on the line over such a short period of time, watching is a must. This is not a record that will be broken every year, or even close. It is a genuine chance at watching history take place.