Felix Baumgartner’s free fall breaks human barriers

On Sunday, Austrian Felix Baumgartner became the first free-falling human to break the sound barrier — along with breaking two other world records.

Baumgartner, 43, wore a full-pressure, high technology space suit that had never been tested in such an extreme environment as free falling from the edge of space.

Not only did Baumgartner break world records for the farthest free fall, being the first free-falling human to break the sound barrier and having the highest manned-balloon flight, but he also became a test dummy for NASA and future space endeavors.

For a human to fall at speeds in excess of 800 mph — Mach 1.24 — is the definition of insanity at its finest.

There are only a few planes, which are all military based, that can hit speeds of Mach 1.

When watching the live broadcast of Baumgartner falling, viewers can hear him talking and breathing as he descends to Earth at over 750 mph.

There was also a point where Baumgartner begins to spin out of control, yet maintains his steady breathing pattern and stabilizes himself.

Baumgartner’s jump revolutionized the limits the human body can be pushed to, NASA’s future capabilities and future technology.

Baumgartner is the modern Neil Armstrong — fitting how it came two months after his passing.


Reach the columnist at msterrel@asu.edu

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