The Man Who Made a 13-Mile Jump From Space
It takes an extraordinary amount of bravado to climb the Earth's atmosphere, but Felix Baumgartner just might be a little bit insane for soaring 71,581 feet skyward and then take a dizzying freefall back to terra firma. Protected by a pressurized jump suit, Baumgartner used the helium balloon-powered Red Bull Stratos capsule to ascend to a height of 13.6 miles, offering a magnificent view of the planet that he took in before taking the breakneck plunge. While the entire trip (from the climb to the successful landing) took one hour and 40 minutes, Baumgartner spent three minutes and 43 seconds in a nerve-wracking descent with a velocity of 364.4 mph.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg for Baumgartner. This summer will be an even more jaw-dropping feat, with the fearless skydiver shooting for a breathtaking altitude of 23 miles near the stratosphere's edge, where he'll drop back down to Earth at a speed reaching Mach 1.