On Sunday, daredevil Felix Baumgartner completed a record-breaking, sound-barrier-shattering, 24-mile jump near Roswell, N.M. The Austrian skydiver broke the record for the highest manned flight in a balloon, the highest free fall jump, the fastest descent, and is now the only man on the planet to have broken the sound barrier with no help from a mechanical device. It’s pretty impressive stuff, which most of us will happily leave to the professionals.
A new video from Baumgartner’s chest-mounted camera reveals how truly terrifying the stunt was, even for the former Austrian paratrooper. The video shows that during the free fall, Baumgartner went into an uncontrolled spin, which almost made the daredevil re-think whether or not he would be able to break the sound barrier. “There was a period of time where I really thought I’m in trouble,” Baumgartner said via his partner Red Bull Stratos’ twitter feed. “Because I have a manual push button where I can release a drogue [stabilization] chute which pulls me out of the flat spin, but at the same I time I knew If I push that button, this thing is all over, we’re not going to fly supersonic.” Luckily for the eight million viewers watching at home, Baumgartner was able to pull out of the spin and break the sound barrier. As he put it:
"I could feel myself break the speed of sound. I could feel the air building up and then I hit it." Felix Baumgartner