Three Views of Felix Baumgartner’s Record-Breaking Skydive From the Stratosphere | Smart News | Smithsonian
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Three Views of Felix Baumgartner’s Record-Breaking Skydive From the Stratosphere

At years of preparation and untold expense, Felix Baumgartner successfully leapt from 23.5 miles

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Would you take that step? Photo: Red Bull Stratos

On Sunday, Felix Baumgartner finally found his window to ascend 23.5 miles through the Earth’s ever-thinning atmosphere and plummet back to the surface in a free-fall that lasted for more than four minutes. His fall pushed him to a top speed of 833.9 miles per hour. After breaking the sound barrier, Baumgartner popped his parachute and rode back down to the surface. The event was streamed live and recorded from an array of angles. And here, set in order of how squeamish you may be feeling, are three takes on the record-breaking dive:

The Lego Recreation

Made by the participants of the Vienna Maker Faire, heard through The Awesomer.

The Highlight Reel

Put together by the Red Bull Stratos team, this video shows the tense-before and stunning-after of the balloon ride. Look to the 50-second mark and ask yourself what you would have done if faced with such a view.

The Helmet Cam

Available both with or without German commentary, this video shows the view Baumgartner faced as he fell from on high. According to The New York Times, Baumgartner went into a dangerous spin early on in a jump.

He feared going into a flat spin that would send blood away from the center of his body. “At a certain R.P.M.,” he said afterward, “there’s only one way for blood to leave your body, and that’s through your eyeballs. That means you’re dead. That was what we feared most.”

More from Smithsonian.com:
Skydiver Plans to Break the Sound Barrier by Jumping From 120,000 Feet
What’s Up With the Winds That Keep Grounding Felix Baumgartner’s Leap From the Stratosphere?

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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