Adventurer of the Year: Supersonic Man Felix Baumgartner

The 5 stages of jumping from space

Felix Baumgartner red bull stratos jump space

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria sits in his capsule during the preparation for the final manned flight of Red Bull Stratos.     Photo: Balazs Gardi

127,852.4 feet: After a massive helium balloon lifts him 24 miles high, Baumgartner opens the hatch to his eight-foot-diameter capsule and launches into the stratosphere.

91,316 feet: Fifty seconds into free fall, Baumgartner reaches his top speed of 843.6 miles per hour and becomes the first person to break the sound barrier with his body, creating a sonic boom that’s caught on amateur video from the ground.

75,000 feet: Baumgartner enters into an uncontrolled flat spin—one of the greatest concerns going into the mission, since G forces can cause blackouts. After 13 seconds he regains control.

8,400 feet: Baumgartner pulls his chute after four minutes and 20 seconds of free fall.

Touchdown: Forty-five miles east of Roswell, New Mexico, Baumgartner lands safely, drops to his knees, and raises a hand in triumph for the cameras.

For more, read Ryan Krogh's feature story Bull Shot.

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