Freefall Parachuting World Record Broken!

As some of you may recall, back in our February 2012 program on Parachutes, I showed a really cool video about Joseph Kittinger, the first man in outer space who set a world record with the longest freefall parachute jump from the barrier of outer space. He set that record back in 1960, and nobody has ever broken that record…until now.

On October 14, 2012 that 52-year old record was finally broken! Felix Baumgartner, a former Australian paratrooper, not only broke Kittinger’s record for the longest freefall jump, but he also became the first man to literally break the speed of sound with his fall. After climbing 128,100 feet above the earth with the help of a helium balloon (similar to the method used by Kittinger), Baumgartner traveled at up to 833 miles per hour to reach the ground in the New Mexican dessert! His fall only took 9 minutes from start to finish. A short video of his jump, as posted on youtube by Red Bull, is below. Thanks to the camera attached to his suit, you can literally see the jump from his perspective!

After ascending 128,100 feet above the earth in a helium balloon on Oct. 14, Felix Baumgartner, 43, stepped off the edge and plummeted at a top speed of 833.9 miles per hour. After just over nine minutes, the former Austrian paratrooper landed in the New Mexico desert, having become the first man to break the speed of sound in a freefall. Not too shabby, huh?….

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