kottke.org posts about Felix Baumgartner
A year ago yesterday, Felix Baumgartner rode in a balloon up to a height of almost 128,000 feet and jumped out. Red Bull, who sponsored the jump, has finally released the full-length footage of the jump from Baumgartner's point-of-view.
A feature-length documentary about the jump is available on Rdio. Is it weird that this makes me want to go see Gravity again? (via devour)
Vanity Fair's William Langewiesche takes a behind the scenes look at what drove Felix Baumgartner from being a stunt jumper to stepping out of a capsule 24 miles above New Mexico. Grab a few Red Bulls and read all about the man who pierced the sky (and the world of brand advertising).
His goal now was to break the altitude record for a human free fall, and in the process also to exceed the speed of sound. Otherwise known as Mach 1, that speed varies with temperature but is upwards of 660 miles per hour. Baumgartner was not there to advance mankind. That was for others to claim, if they liked. His own purpose was promotional. He was a showman for the Red Bull company, which had plowed a fortune into this endeavor in order to associate its energy drink with his feats. Baumgartner, who was 43 at the time, is certainly a manly man. He is photogenic. He is fit. His fiancée was Miss Lower Austria in 2006. When he furrows his brow he looks determined and intense. On-camera he becomes the very image of a middle-aged action figure, the perfect emblem for an important market segment of middle-aged men. When I drink Red Bull, I go supersonic. I am fearless. I am an Übermensch.
Here's some footage from the camera affixed to Felix Baumgartner's chest during his record-breaking jump:
It's frightening how fast he starts spinning. And then he really starts whipping around...watch the Sun's reflection in his visor.
This has got to be some sort of record for quickest Lego parody of an event: watch as a Lego man jumps from a balloon hanging high in the air, just like Felix.
Watch live as Felix Baumgartner jumps from a balloon more than 120,000 feet in the air.
Update: The jump was successful! The YT video above is now private but here are some highlights from the mission: