Austrian skydiver plunges 24 miles to earth - and lives to tell the tale
FREE Catholic Classes
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
10/14/2012 (6 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
Why do men climb mountains? Because it's there. For record-breaking parachutist "Fearless Felix" Baumgartner, who chose to jump from outer space 24 miles above the earth because he could. Any error would have resulted in a slow painful death, with his blood boiling, his eyes popping out of his head and his brain exploding. But Baumgartner safely landed, breaking all previous records - and he's ready to do even more.
Fearless Felix Baumgartner's success robbed his friend Joe Kittinger with his sole record, for the longest time spent in a freefall. But he was clearly as relieved as anyone to see the others broken at last.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Taking five years to plan, the 43-year-old Baumgartner developed a special hi-tech jumpsuit. Taking to the skies in a special balloon, Baumgartner also broke a world record in balloon ascension. When the balloon stopped rising, Baumgartner began conducting his final exit checks. In his bulky, suit, the skydiver had little room to maneuver inside the capsule and had to slide, feet first through the hatch.
With no turning back, the world collectively held its breath as he hurtled through the sky, a tiny speck against a dark sky, plunging 24 miles above the Earth at up to 729 miles per hour.
His parachute opened. Five minutes later, to the relief of the millions, Baumgartner made the highest and fastest skydive in history, becoming the first freefall diver to break the sound barrier.
The event was almost cancelled. The balloon ascent took around two-and-a-half hours, faster than expected. Baumgartner reported that the heating device in his visor was not working properly, causing it to mist up.
Baumgartner's friend and mentor, 84-year-old Joe Kittinger discussed whether to scrub the mission. Kittinger was a former U.S. Air Force colonel who set the previous freefall record in 1960 when he jumped from 102,800 feet, had agreed to come out of retirement to help Baumgartner set a new record.
Both decided to go ahead, and as the balloon stopped rising, Baumgartner began conducting his final exit checks.
Gripping the hand rails on either side of the hatch exterior, Baumgartner gave a final salute, and fell forwards in what his team describes as "bunny hop," pushing out with both feet at the same time to avoid falling into a potentially fatal flat-spin.
Plunging headfirst through the air, his 70-strong team of engineers, doctors and scientists had previously estimated Baumgartner would fall at around 700 miles per hour in the first 50 seconds.
But he managed to plunge even faster, reaching 729 miles per hour during the first 50 seconds of the four minute, 22 second freefall.
Baumgartner's success robbed his friend Kittinger with his sole record, for the longest time spent in a freefall. But he was clearly as relieved as anyone to see the others broken at last.
"Couldn't have done it better myself," he joked as Baumgartner glided to the ground.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
On Sunday, France and Croatia will square off on the soccer pitch for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Championship. While most U.S. Catholics are ... continue reading
The 2018 Olympic Games have opened in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The opening ceremonies saw the North and South Korean teams enter the ... continue reading
Super Bowl Sunday. It's as American as apple pie, but in recent years, controversy has erupted over the beloved American pastime and - ... continue reading
The Chicago Cubs have won the 2016 World Series in a 10-inning game, beating the Cleveland Indians 4-3. The win breaks a 108-year losing ... continue reading
The world lost a great human being and legendary sportsman in Arnold Palmer. The golfer passed away on September 25, a day before he was to ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- South Asia floods: 'Everything is coming to a complete standstill'
- Daily Readings for Monday, July 22, 2019
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 HD Video
- Influencers in a Pro-life Vocation
- Making a Difference: Lessons for Earth 50 years after first moon landing
- St. Mary Magdalene: Saint of the Day for Monday, July 22, 2019
- Daily Reading for Monday, July 22nd, 2019 HD Video
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, July 19th 2019 HD
- Mary, the Blessed Virgin HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, July 21st, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, July 18th 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.