The most incredible thing I've ever seen
On Sunday morning as I was flipping through the channels, I realized that it was the day that Felix Baumgartner was going to make his historic jump from the edge of outer space.
Perhaps you saw it on Sportsnet...and if you did...maybe you were as moved as I was witnessing this historic moment.
He jumped from the highest-ever altitude and became the first skydiver to break the sound barrier, which is about 690 miles per hour at that height.
For what was called the Red Bull Stratos mission, Baumgartner jumped in a special pressure suit, stepping off from a capsule that had been lifted up by a 55-story, helium-filled balloon to more than 24 miles/39 kilometres above the New Mexico desert -- some three times the altitude of where planes usually fly -- and landed some nine minutes later.
In between, he spent about four minutes and 20 seconds in freefall before activating his parachute, reaching a maximum speed of 833 miles per hour to break the sound barrier by a significant margin.
But for a while, Baumgartner was in a violent, spinning freefall. He admitted after that it was a moment where he thought he may actually go unconcious. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief has he finally got control.
The 43-year-old Baumgartner broke the record for highest jump of 102,800 feet, which had been set in 1960 by then-Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who was an adviser on Baumgartner's mission.
Plus he NAILED the landing!
I don't know why, but I was very emotional when watching it...and witnessing this incredible feat.
It was unbelieveably tense as he prepared for the jump...as he (obviously) had to go through many steps to ensure a safe jump. I personally felt like I was going to throw up just watching it...I can only imagine the nerves of steel that Baumgartner has to have to pull off a stunt like this.
More than anything it left me with a sense that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. What a moment for mankind.
"Sometimes we have to get really high, to see how small we are. I'm going home now." - Felix Baumgartner, moments before jumping from his capsule.