Hey, listeners, I am so excited to share a new Spotify original from our cast called Incredible Feats, we partnered with comedian and podcast or Dan Cummins from the hit podcast Time Suck to bring you true accounts of unbelievable physical strength, mental focus and bizarre behavior. Every weekday, Dan goes behind the scenes and into stories of everyone from world class athletes and world record breakers to artists, architects and more. Stay tuned for an exclusive clip from the first episode about the skydiver who broke the sound barrier as he freefall from the edge of space to hear the rest of the episode follow incredible feats free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
Felix Baumgartner was forty three. He was an Austrian skydiver and base jumper who holds world records for both the lowest ever and highest ever based jumps, even though the latter feat got him banned from Taiwan and he wanted to do something even more extreme. He decides to break the sound barrier with only his body, a never before done feat. He must free fall twenty four miles in four minutes, going over seven hundred and seventy miles per hour. He wouldn't be the first to attempt this past would be supersonic.
Skydivers died during the jump. It takes three hundred people and five years of planning to prepare for Felix's jump, some of those people work for Red Bull, who sponsors the mission. They hire the perfect coach, Joe Kittinger, an 84 year old retired Air Force colonel who set the world record for highest free fall in nineteen sixty when he fell over 19 miles back to Earth. Felix basically needs to become an astronaut to fall even further and pull this off.
Low oxygen and low atmospheric pressure will kill him without proper training and protection. Red Bull rendezvous with NASA to get an astronaut grade spacesuit and training for Felix to skydive. Just one problem. Fearless Felix is claustrophobic. His pricey custom spacesuit gives him panic attacks and he has to receive psychiatric counseling to handle it. October 14th, 2012, jumped around 9:00 a.m., Baumgartner begins breathing pure oxygen if he doesn't eliminate all nitrogen from his body. He'll get the bends deadly in extreme cases.
Just before nine thirty a.m., Felix boards the capsule, then a specially made forty layer helium balloon lifts it from the New Mexico desert into the stratosphere as he sends his visor fogs up, blinding him, he radios coach Joe Kittinger. What am I supposed to do? And they almost actually call it off, but then solve the problem by unplugging the visor and plugging it back in classic turn it off and turn it back on. Turns out that fixes phones, laptops and fancy space helmets.
Just after 12:00 p.m., Felix reaches one hundred and twenty eight thousand one hundred feet, the height he'll jump from for scale. Imagine for Mount Everest stacked up without the suit, his bodily fluids will vaporize and kill him at this altitude. He describes his view. When you stand up there on top of the world, you become so humble. It's not about breaking records anymore. It's not about getting scientific data. It's all about coming home. 12, 8:00 p.m. he jumps almost immediately.
He starts spinning really not good. If he can't control the spin, all his blood will gush out of his eyes, killing him. This is what killed the previous daredevils. Plus, the G force threatens to knock him unconscious. He fights to stay awake. He could deploy his parachute, but then he loses his chance of breaking the sound barrier. Felix manages to control the spin. And thirty four seconds in boom, he breaks the sonic barrier.
It's so loud. Mission Control hears it from the ground. 50 seconds in. Felix hits his terminal velocity mock one point two five or eight hundred and thirty three point nine miles per hour over eight hundred and thirty miles per hour. Finally, he opens his parachute after almost nine minutes in the air and lands safely and then celebrates with Coach Joe. Two weeks later, Felix goes on the Today Show and tells the world he did not enjoy the jump, maybe because he almost died.
Or maybe he just wanted to scare others away from trying to break his record. Worked on this guy, Felix. Mission accomplished. Either way, he retired from sky diving in base jumping, but he has not stopped being a daredevil today. He races cars, makes helicopters, do back flips and makes men like me feel, well, a little less manly. To finish this episode and hear more amazing stories, follow incredible feats free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.