Oct 142012

In one of our THAT’S METAL! posts back in early August (here), we included an item about the plans of Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner (a/k/a “Fearless Felix”) to make a parachute jump from a height of 120,000 feet and break the sound barrier with his body as he was in free-fall. The project, called Stratos, was being funded by Red Bull. And earlier today, Fearless Felix achieved his goal.

He ascended 24 miles into the sky via a gigantic balloon (55 stories tall) filled with 30 million cubic feet of helium and then jumped — from a height of 128,000 feet above the Earth, reaching a top speed of 833.9 mph. That amounts to Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound. No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.

In one of those coincidences of history, Baumgartner did this 65 years to the day — Oct. 14, 1947 — after pilot Chuck Yaeger (of “The Right Stuff” fame) broke the sound barrier in an aircraft. If it had been me 128,000 feet up, looking down at the planet through an open door, my final words would have been “FUCK THIS!  I’VE CHANGED MY FREAKIN’ MIND!” Instead, Baumgartner’s words before he took the plunge were these:

“Sometimes you have to go really high to see how small you are.”

During the descent, Baumgartner could be seen spinning wildly, apparently out of control — something that could have led to a loss of consciousness. I’m close to losing consciousness just thinking about this shit. Fortunately, Baumgartner got his shit together and completed the dive without vaporizing himself on impact.

Official time for the free fall: 4:22

Total time from jump-off to landing: Just over 9 minutes.

Undeniably metal.



  1. I’m wondering if there was any effect on the speed of his fall from the supermassive balls he must have to even do something this undeniably awesome.

    • I don’t care what physicists say about weight having no effect on the speed at which an object falls, I think the weight of his ginormous balls made him fall faster.

  2. The first camera shot when he leaps, the one looking straight down so as to show him turn into tiny dot in milliseconds, makes my testicles shrivel up and die.

  3. When I watched the stream this morning I had wondered, if he jumped upwards would he float off into space? but clearly, as detailed above, his enormous moon sized testicles kept him connected to the earth’s gravity.

  4. Holy fuck, that picture gives me vertigo.

  5. ‘got his shit together’…man, how many of us even have that kind of ‘shit’…

  6. Upon seeing the first few moments of him falling in the video (when he shrinks down to a dot within seconds) one’s first thought was “Well, at least there’s one guy now who knows how Curiosity felt.” (o_o )
    One’s next thought, and for the remaining duration of the freefall: “HOLY SHIT!”

    Anyway, that video’s account seems to have been taken down. So, here’s another video; and the mission highlights, if the other video also fails to load at some later time.

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