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
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- 10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014
Subscribe to the Week