Felix Baumgartner Completes Red Bull Stratos 2012 Free Fall from Space

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2012

ROSWELL, NM - JULY 25:  (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria lands in the desert during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos on July 25, 2012 in Roswell, New Mexico. Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space to an altitude of 37.000 meters to break several records including the sound of speed in freefall. (Photo by Joerg Mitter/Red Bull via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Extreme skydiver Felix Baumgartner broke the highest free fall, fastest free fall and the highest manned balloon flight records Sunday by successfully jumping and landing out of his manned balloon.

Baumgartner broke three records when he jumped out of his capsule at an altitude of 128,050 feet—or over 24 miles. The free-fall time from mission control was estimated at four minutes and 22 seconds.

Once at his elevation, Baumgartner had to depressurize the unit before positioning himself in the small capsule to open the door and reach the edge.

After reaching the point of departure, Baumgartner leapt from the structure.

At 729 miles per hour, the veteran diver crossed the sound barrier—an estimated 690 miles per hour—before deploying his parachute and gliding safely to the ground.

Baumgartner prepared himself for this jump for over five years and has been diving for even longer. It was his experience that helped him stay focused despite the canceled first attempt and through initial troubles in the capsule.

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The successful jump came after the veteran skydiver experienced difficulties with the heat visor in his helmet. While the cockpit of the craft attached to the balloon is about 50 degrees inside, the extreme temperature changes he faced on the descent almost caused this mission to be canceled.

The helmet did fog up during the descent, but it wasn't an issue.

With a successful jump and three world records under his belt, Baumgartner is now an international sensation.

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