We all have hopes, dreams, and goals in our lives. They start out in the simplest form, an idea. From there these ideas grow and evolve just as we do in our every day lives. There's a time in our lives when we, with the utmost certainty, feel like there's nothing in our way and anything is possible.
I remember that time. Being a kid, wishing upon shooting stars, imagining what I would be when I grew up, climbing to the tops of trees and imagining I was on top of the world.
Today, that's exactly what Felix Baumgartner did. He defied the odds and conquered a life long dream. With sheer determination, hard work, and everything in between, he became a legend. Years from now, we will look back at this moment and remember just how significant it was. The possibilities of today are endless.
An event of this magnitude is hard to translate into words. To say it's inspiring doesn't seem to do it justice. If you're just tuning in, let me re-cap the day's events for you.
Felix Baumgartner was lifted to the edge of space in a pressurized capsule with the help of a helium balloon. That balloon contained 30 million cubic feet of helium, was 1/10 the thickness of a Ziploc bag, weighed more than 3000 pounds, and was as tall as a 55-storey building. No big deal.
In less than three hours, Felix reached the height of over 128,000 feet. He, quite literally, was on top of the world.
When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble that you do not think about breaking records anymore, you do not think about gaining scientific data, the only thing that you want, is you want to come back alive.
The feed was broadcasted live for the whole world to see. At this point as I'm watching this unfold, I can't even begin to imagine what he could be feeling, but my heart was racing in anticipation for what was about to come. The jump.
The capsule door opened and you could see the curvature of Earth, glowing a magnificent blue against the black background of space. And here I was, sitting anxiously at my computer, watching an HD live feed from space to see the first human in history free fall to supersonic speeds. A mind blowing thought in itself.
Felix then made his way to the edge of the capsule, and as he stood, looking down at Earth, at a staggering 128,000 feet above ground, preparing to make a jump that could potentially take his life, these are the words that he said....
I know the whole world is watching now and I wish the world could see what I see...
Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are.
Within moments, his body became a dot on the screen. I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing, it didn't seem real. Then, in one of the most intense moments of the jump, Felix lost control.
The spin became so violent it was hard to know how to get out of it.
In that moment, the feed cut away to mission control and you could no longer hear the sounds of his breathing. Leaving you, to only think the worst. I can't even begin to imagine what his friends and family were feeling in those short moments.
I was able to get it under control and break the speed of sound.
Felix Baumgartner reached the speed of 1342 km/h, or 373 m/s, or 833.9 mph! That's Mach 1.24, my friends. Un-freaking-believable.
I could feel myself break the speed of sound. I could feel the air building up and then I hit it.
The mission was a success, Felix's free fall was 119,846 feet and lasted 4 minutes 20 seconds. He smashed through records that no human has ever done before. The potential for what this data could do for further aerospace research and tests is exponential. This is just the beginning.
After conquering such an incredible feat, it's only natural to wonder where he could possibly go from here. I mean, the guy is only 43 and he just jumped from the edge of space. How do you possibly live up to that?
I want to inspire the next generation. I want to be in mission control with someone younger than me wanting to break my record.
As Dr. Jonathan Clark, Medical Director for the mission stated, "The world needs a hero and today they got one."
We really did. Today, history was made. Today gives me hope for the future.
Did you guys tune in for the jump? What did you think?