1. tinkerbelle says

    I was completely riveted by this (even though I have vertigo—fear of heights—that made this difficult to watch) — I was thrilled by the results, but it seems that to reach the sound barrier, he would have had to reach 768 mph, so…

  2. JSH says

    The speed of sound is not static, it changes based on atmospheric variables. 768 MPH is based on standard barometric pressure, “dry” air (0% humidity), and a temp of 68 degrees. They need to check the conditions & calculate the speed of sound – to see if he was faster…

  3. JSH says

    Doesn’t look like the conditions matter after all – just read this: “Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation said Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph during his jump Sunday over the New Mexico desert” More than fast enough to break the sound barrier – no matter what :-)

  4. PostPonyPhase says

    I hope he broke the sound barrier, I can’t find anything where they announce it. Maybe it means he missed it by a fraction, and they don’t want to overshadow the amazingness of the jump itself?

  5. Beto says

    I saw the press event and saw the guy for the first time and let me tell that he is HOT as hell. Also I love his balls of steel for achieving the not so easy task. Kudos for him.

  6. StarGem says

    The speed of sound in air, at sea level, is 768 miles per hour. I don’t know what the speed of sound is an altitude of 128,000 feet, but denser materials conduct sound at a higher speed, so I must assume that the speed of sound is slower at high altitude where the air is less dense, so it is possible that he did break the sound barrier at altitude.

    I watched this event unfold and was very impressed with both Mr. Baumgartner and the previous record-holder from 1960 working as a team! Both of these men are quite courageous individuals, and I wish them both the best in all of their endeavors.

  7. Apollo says

    Oh, come on. Not one mention of how hot he is? You people are slipping with all your rational scientific talk. Where is your stereotypical obsession with physical superficiality?

  8. PostPonyPhase says

    833.9 mph, from:Yahoo news feed. I wonder if he stays awake at night now thinking “I bet I could do 1000mph. It’s too much to imagine for me. I’d have a stroke. Youngsters.

  9. Iban4yesu says

    “Brian Utley, a jump observer from the International Federation of Sports Aviation, said preliminary figures show Baumgartner reached a maximum 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.
    Baumgartner says that traveling faster than sound is ‘hard to describe because you don’t feel it.’ With no reference points, ‘you don’t know how fast you travel’ he told reporters……

    Any contact with the capsule on his exit could have torn his pressurized suit, a rip that could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as minus-70 degrees. That could have caused lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids.

    But none of that happened….”

    I needed a hero today and he is one….Congrats!

  10. Bill says

    Regarding StarGem’s comment:

    1. at 128,000 feet, he was barely moving – his speed increased as he fell until reaching terminal velocity. He was also apparently tumbling for a bit until he could recover from that, which adds a complication (won’t go into it right now).

    2. The speed of sound varies as the square root of the temperature, measured from absolute zero, for an ideal gas, and some other factors that are constant for a given gas. One catch – the makeup of air varies with humidity, and the percentage of nitrogen versus oxygen changes with altitude. Temperature, however, varies significantly with altitude.

  11. Roy says

    Wow. He can fall.

    Probably the most stupid Stupid Human Trick I’ve seen. Just what does this accomplish or teach us, other than that some people have more time and money than they know what to do with?

  12. Rafael says


    The US Air Force tried this exercise to gather information that helped improved parachute designs.

    I can imagine a future where astronauts descent into planets just with their heat resistant pressurized suits, skydiving just like Felix proved possible with his daring jump.

  13. says

    Pretty awesome. It was nerve-racking to watch him go through the final preparations step by step before he jumped. Really motivating to watch too! I ended up getting a lot accomplished today afterwards.

  14. Bill says

    Regarding, “The speed of sound varies by temperature, which varies by altitude, but it’s highest near the ground.” … not exactly true but OK for the altitude range for the jump. has a graph of temperature versus altitude and an explanation of why it varies. At the start of Baumgartner’s jump at an altitude of over 30 km, temperatures dropped as he descended, reaching a minimum value at altitudes between 10 and 20 km. Below 10 km, temperatures decrease relatively quickly with increasing altitude. Temperatures increase with altitude in the stratosphere because of the absorption of UV radiation in the “ozone layer”.

    Above the stratosphere, temperates drop with altitude for a while, but then increase to very high values (over 1000 degrees C) but at extremely low densities.

    Curiously, the first person to technically travel at supersonic speeds after stepping outside a vehicle of some sort was not Baumgartner. It was Alexey Leonov, who did the first “space walk”. Low earth orbit is still inside the earth’s atmosphere (but where air density is extremely low) and Leonov was traveling at well above the speed of sound there.

  15. says

    I am one of the people who watched the jump from the start. I am amazed about how those from RedBull had the courage to make this. Imagine what investment they made on the Felix costume, and the other tech. At the press conference they said all this cost them around 50 million USD. I think the costs are much more, since all the materials used were some of the best. Anyway Felix had HUGE courage to make this, and his jump is unmatched. Once again Good Work To ALL The Team!! I am waiting new and new tests from their side.

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