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Felix Baumgartner is no stranger to daredevil acts. The Austrian diver is well known for parachuting off the Petronas Towers in Malaysia as well as skydiving across the English Channel. So when the chance arose for Baumgartner to break the sound barrier by jumping from the Red Bull Stratos 24 miles above earth, he did, ever so literally, jump at the chance.
On Sunday, October 14th, (which is the 65th anniversary of when Chuck Yeager, an American pilot, broke the sound barrier during a flight) Baumgartner was sent into space in a 11-by-8-foot acrylic and fiberglass capsule that was able to ascend into space with the help of a gigantic balloon. After reaching the intended altitude, Baumgartner was taken through a 40-item checklist to ensure the stunt went off without a hitch. Finally, after the checklist was completed, Baumgartner disconnected his oxygen, giving him only 10 minutes to reach the ground. Stepping off a tiny platform, Baumgartner began a 4 minute and 19 second free fall, before pulling his parachute open. He landed safely on the ground less than five minutes later.
The major goal Baumgartner hoped to achieve was to be the first skydiver to break the sound barrier, and he did indeed reach that goal. However, he broke far more records than just that one. Baumgartner is now the world record holder for the longest free fall without a parachute (119,846 feet,) the fastest fall during a skydive (833.9 miles per hour) and also the highest altitude skydive (128,100 feet.)
In addition to the world records he now holds, Baumgartner’s space jump also led to an Internet record as well. The video of his jump is now the record holder for the “live stream with the most concurrent views ever on YouTube” with more than 8 million people watching in the live stream at the same time.
Were you one of the 8 million people watching the live stream? Or did you catch it later? Or not at all, maybe? Comment below and share your thoughts!