At this time last year, the world was obsessively watching skydiver and daredevil Felix Baumgartner — outfitted in a state-of-the-art pressure suit — jump out of a capsule 127,852 feet above the earth in the planet's stratosphere. It was scary. It was exciting. And it was epic.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Red Bull Stratos mission, and it's a great excuse to relive it.
Talk about one giant leap for man! Baumgartner's spacedive set a record for highest exit altitude for a dive on record — 127,852.4 feet. He also set records for maximum vertical speed — 843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25, faster than the speed of sound — and vertical freefall distance — 119,431.1 feet.
But the jump was about more than doing something super crazy. It also tested out a lot of science that can be used for future missions into space. For instance, it's now proven that a human being (properly trained and with the right equipment) can pass safely through the sound barrier. So if an astronaut is stuck high up in the atmosphere and needs to evacuate a craft, it's possible to jump back to earth. Innovations were also made in pressure suit design and construction, parachute rigs, and medical treatments.
"The experts who contributed to the mission are extraordinary - it really takes the best people in the world to successfully complete a project like Red Bull Stratos," Baumgartner said. "They safeguarded my life, and in doing so, they broke boundaries in their own fields just as surely as I broke the sound barrier."
The Stratos team created a cool video documenting a lot of the science that went into the mission — as well as all the different camera angles that they watch Baumgartner's jump. Check it out:
Videos courtesy Red Bull Stratos/Red Bull Content Pool