The next daredevil attempting to break the world record for freefall speed will have to go a little faster following the release of new data from Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space in October.
According to Red Bull Stratos, Baumgartner achieved even higher speeds than initially thought, albeit by slight margins, after jumping out of a specially crafted capsule more than 23 miles above the Earth. The revised numbers came in at 843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25, as opposed to the previous estimate of 833.9 mph/Mach 1.24. The length of the jump was also revised downward slightly, from 39,045 meters to 38,969.4 meters.
Baumgartner, 43, captivated the attention of millions last fall when he stood poised outside his one-man spacecraft before taking the plunge into a freefall jump that triggered 25.2 seconds of absolute weightlessness in its early stage. As the world’s collective heart raced while watching live footage of the feat, so too did Baumgartner’s, increasing from as low as 60 beats per minute during the capsule’s ascent to 169 beats per minute when he hit Mach 1.25. His heart rate reached an all-time high of 185 beats per minute when he exited the capsule.
Baumgartner was able to execute a successful jump despite encountering a period of rapid spinning — in which he experienced 60 revolutions per minute — as well as a period of flat spin that lasted for 13 seconds.
The previous freefall jump record was held by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from an altitude of 31,333 meters in 1960.