The video: On Sunday, the world watched in amazement as daredevil Felix Baumgartner plummeted 24 miles down to Earth, reaching supersonic speeds of 834 mph to crush the sound barrier. Now the folks from his Red Bull Stratos mission have released the 43-year-old thrill-seeker's helmet cam footage, offering Earth-bound mortals a terrifying glimpse of what it's like to freefall from the bleeding edge of space. During the first few seconds of the jump, Baumgartner struggles to gain control of his body as the lack of atmosphere sends him spinning dangerously out of control. (Watch the video below.) "It's like hell," he said later. "The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I'd just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started speeding up... It was really brutal at times. I thought for a second that I'd lose consciousness."
The reaction: You've probably seen the jump before, says Glenn Davis at Sportsgrid. But not like this. This first-person footage, taken from a camera mounted to Baumgartner during the jump, "goes a long way toward humanizing the 'falling white dot' blur portion" of the initial video. Baumgartner is certainly more fearless than you or I will ever be. "Truly terrifying stuff," says Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo. "And awesome too." How he ever managed to gain control of his body after tumbling like that is beyond me. Take a look:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
Subscribe to the Week