If you watched the news and are into science or even better, into skydiving then you must have heard the unimaginable stunt and let`s call it a stunt that Felix Baumgartner performed last week as he defied the mind boggling limits of the term daredevil and jumped from space at heights and speeds that would even make Evil Knievel cringe.
Baumgartner jumped from a space capsule floating twenty-four miles up above the New Mexico desert and plummeted toward earth as if he was a human asteroid. The trip downward took a total of about nine minutes and in the process he shattered the sound barrier with his body. I think if I was standing at the door of the space capsule my Fruit of the Looms would probably turn a shade of brown as I looked down and saw Earth sitting so calmly in the formation of space and Wow! So far down from my current position at the door of the tiny space capsule. Baumgartner didn`t seem to even flinch as he took one step and free fell hoping to make it back to Earth alive and to be able to once again kiss his girlfriend.
Baumgartner commented on his daredevil stunt by saying, "When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about breaking records anymore, you do not think about gaining scientific data. The only thing you want is to come back alive." (Baumgartner, F.)
There are a ton of humbling moments that happen in life and I don`t care how tough you may think you are when you find yourself in one of those humbling moments you will always end up going from the brave lion you think you are before the moment happens to the little shy mouse you become as you engage in the humbling moment and become one with it.
This is exactly what Baumgartner felt as he defied the human comprehension of the limits of a stunt and hit speeds in excess of 833.9 mph and hit the science term of Mach 1.24. He also became the first human to hit supersonic speed with his body while not traveling in a jet or spacecraft. The capsule he jumped from had reached an altitude of 128,100 feet above Earth, carried by a 55-story ultra-thin helium balloon.
As Baumgartner made it back to Earth safely he literally hit the ground running as he landed on his feet. He could once again smell the sweet smell of the New Mexico desert and even picked up a new nickname of "Fearless Felix" as he hugged his Mother who was in attendance among the other spectators who broke out into a loud cheer as he made it back home safely.
Baumgartner went on further and commented on his jump by saying, "Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are." With this comment he probably more than likely is referring to no matter how big we think we really are it doesn`t matter when we are faced one on one with one of those life humbling moments.
The onlookers in the command center that was taping Baumgartner`s free fall held their breath as he appeared in the first seconds of his jump to spin out of control. Baumgartner commented on this by stating, "When I was spinning first 10, 20 seconds, I never thought I was going to lose my life but I was disappointed because I`m going to lose my record. I put seven years of my life into this," He also added to this by saying, "In that situation, when you spin around, it`s like hell and you don`t know if you can get out of that spin or not. Of course, it was terrifying. I was fighting all the way down because I knew that there must be a moment where I can handle it." (Baumgartner, F.)
If you think about this he was traveling at the speed of sound. Baumgartner also said that you really don`t feel any of the effects of the rushing air or the loud noise because he was wearing a pressurized suit. He also said that he never knew at any point of the fall how fast he was really traveling because you have no reference point to refer back to.
Coincidentally, Mr. Baumgartner`s accomplishment came on the 65th anniversary of the day that U.S. test pilot Chuck Yeager became the first man to officially break the sound barrier in a jet. Yeager, in fact, commemorated that feat on Sunday, flying in the back seat of an F-15 Eagle as it broke the sound barrier at more than 30,000 feet above California`s Mojave Desert. (www.ndtv.com)
His jump was a national treasure as there were some thirty cameras recording every square inch of his fall. The cameras were recording every second of this event which included the capsule Baumgartner was jumping from dangling from the massive balloon it was attached to Baumgartner checking his space suit and instruments in the capsule preparing for his jump and being has calm as a baby being held in his or her mother`s arms.
This jump by Baumgartner was not only a media event to beak the sound barrier record and free fall height record by any one human but also NASA was using this event to improve the quality of future space suits won by astronauts in future space missions.
Mr. Baumgartner`s team included Joe Kittinger, who first tried to break the sound barrier from 19.5 miles up in 1960, reaching speeds of 614 mph. With Mr. Kittinger inside mission control, the two men could be heard going over technical details during the ascension. "Our guardian angel will take care of you," Mr. Kittinger radioed to Baumgartner around the 100,000-foot mark. (Kittinger, J.) (www.ndtv.com)
This jump by Baumgartner marked the final jump for him and has opened the door for retirement in the world of daredevil jumping. Baumgartner summed up this jump by saying, "I was putting everything out there, and hope for the best and if we left one record for Joe - hey it`s fine," he said when asked if he intentionally left the record for Mr. Kittinger to hold. "We needed Joe Kittinger to help us break his own record, and that tells the story of how difficult it was and how smart they were in the 60`s. He is 84 years old, and he is still so bright and intelligent and enthusiastic". (Baumgartner, F.)
For now, Baumgartner plans to take the road to the quiet life and settle down with his girlfriend and fly helicopters on mountain rescue and firefighting missions in the U.S. and Austria but for the next few days he said he plans to go back to Los Angeles to clear his head and chill out for a few days.
Felix Baumgartner`s jump from space`s edge provides collective moment, (www.ndtv.com)
Books are like treasures that need to be explored by each and every ones of our minds. My next book that is currently in the production stages of publishing at my publisher, Tate Publishing is just that a treasure in the world of Major League baseball and literature. Keep an eye out for the release date of it and when it will be available for sale from Tate Publishing. I will let you know when I know from Tate.