Felix Baumgartner's leap of faith, one year later
One year ago -- on October 14, 2012 -- Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier with his own body. One year later, Col. Joe Kittinger and the Red Bull Stratos team celebrated the anniversary of the historic event.
Red Bull Stratos was the flight test program that riveted the world last fall, as Baumgartner ascended 24 miles above earth with a massive helium balloon. Wearing only a spacesuit, and with a mere 10 minutes of oxygen on his back, he jumped from the balloon’s capsule and accelerated from 0 to 843.6 miles per hour – Mach 1.25 – in just 50 seconds before eventually parachuting to the ground.
Red Bull Stratos broke numerous world records, including several set by Kittinger in 1960, and delivered valuable scientific data to improve safety for future aviators and astronauts.
The entire Salzburg region welcomed the hometown hero and his expert team as they celebrated throughout the anniversary weekend. Baumgartner shared the Red Bull Stratos capsule exhibition on display at the Hangar-7 venue, and he led a trip to spectacular Alpine destinations. An avid pilot, Baumgartner even gave Kittinger, Thompson, and Medical Director Jonathan Clark a sightseeing ride in a helicopter.
Images and information: Red Bull Stratos