Sunday, October 14, 2012

He Jumps Bigger

Wow.  This fellow practiced for years, skydiving and BASE jumping.  He became famous jumping off of bridges and tall buildings...and the statue of Christ, in Rio de Janero.

Today, after years of preparation (with the sponsorship of Red Bull and the interest of NASA), he jumped out of a small capsule about 24 miles above the earth.  The capsule was carried into space by a giant helium balloon.

Standing on the edge of his jump, he said "Sometimes you have to go up really high to see how small you are."   Then he jumped.  Cameras and microphones recorded his progress.  

The full video of the jump is pretty amazing.  You've probably seen it by now.  It shows a little white dot of a man, spinning around in space - arms and legs akimbo.  Free-falling for more than four minutes.  Somewhere during that time, somehow, he regained control of his body and straightened out into the typical formation of a skydiver - arms and legs out, facing the direction of his fall.  He talked to his "mission control" about his visor fogging up.  When the time came, he calmly pulled the cord on his chute, and gently floated the rest of the way to earth.    
Jubilant upon landing.  Felix Baumgartner, kudos to you!!  Amazing!!
He couldn't stop talking about his support team.  He had a lot of help, and he put his success on them.  I love how that entire group - skydivers, astonauts, world-record holders, scientists, fund-raisers - how they all worked together to help this man realize his dream.  United we stand! 
He jumped further than any man has ever jumped.  He broke the sound barrier.  (He was recorded traveling at well over 700 miles-per-hour.)  And he lived to tell the tale. 
(His plans for the future?  To relax with his family and his girlfriend, and fly a helicopter on rescue missions in mountains, and during fires.  Any skydiving?  Probably not.  He says he's DONE.)

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