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
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why baseball is America's most dangerous spectator sport
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week