In 2012, after five years of struggle and setbacks, Felix Baumgartner jumped from space down to Earth.
On August 16th 1960, US Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger made history as he ascended 31.333m (102,800 ft) in a high-altitude balloon and jumped to Earth.
His jump proved that escaping at high altitude was possible, laying the foundation for modern rocket escape systems.
With a team of the world's top scientists, engineers and doctors, Felix Baumgartner was ready to rewrite history and advance aeronautical research with Red Bull Stratos.
The capsule serves 3 functions: to protect from the stratosphere, to accomodate equipment, and to house Felix’s life support systems.
Space starts at 62.000 ft. Above that, blood boils and you need a pressure suit. It’s an uncomfortable garnment, but a necessary garnment.
The balloon is filled with helium, which is lighter than air. The higher it gets, the lower the surrounding pressure, causing the balloon to expand. Once fully expanded, the ascent will stop.
The Stratos balloon is on the launchpad in Rosswell, New Mexico. The weather is good, and Felix starts his pre-mission workout.
“This is mission control. Felix is departing his airstream trailer to be strapped in to the Stratos capsule. Systems are green.”
“The whole world is watching right now. I wish you could see what I see. Sometimes you need to be really high to see how small you are. I’m going home now.”
As Felix hurdles towards Earth, shockwaves form around him, compressing the closer he gets to the speed of sound. He became the first human to break through without the protection of an aircraft.
But shortly after breaking the speed of sound, disaster stikes. Felix looses control and tumbles in an inverted flat spin.
But until that parachute is open, anything can still happen...
“We all worked as a team to make that happen, and here he was: on the ground safely. Wow!”
Felix’s jump didn’t just push the scientific knowledge forward, he also became an icon, role model and embassador for a new generation.