It sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely true. Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner, 43, jumped from a balloon over 24 miles above Earth, and lived. He broke three world records including highest altitude skydive, longest free-fall without a parachute, and fastest speed reached while skydiving. The last of which is perhaps most impressive. Baumgartner’s body entered Earth’s stratosphere at 833.9 miles per hour, making him the first ever skydiver to break the sound barrier. It takes a speed of 690 mph minimum to break the barrier, and by Baumgartner’s results (later verified by Federation Aeronautical International at a press conference), he more than tore his goal apart.
As if breaking a bunch of records wasn’t cool enough, he actually completed the feat Sunday, on the 65th anniversary of American pilot Chuck Yeager’s success at shattering the sound barrier in a plane on October 14, 1947.
To take the leap, he ascended for over two hours in a massive balloon to 128,000 feet, and jumped wearing a ridiculous looking (but completely necessary) protective space suit. The best part? He captured it all on video with a camera mounted on his suit. The video shows him spinning out of control and then recovering to eventually land safely in New Mexico’s desert. After he stood up, he lifted his arms to cheers from a crowd that gathered to watch the stunt. Over eight million viewers tuned in online to watch a live feed.
Our opinion? If that’s not death-defying, we don’t know what is. This guy just officially became the world’s toughest badass.
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