10 Questions about Baumgartner’s Jump

What happened to the balloon after Baumgartner’s leap? Is Baumgartner a pilot? Does a human body make a sonic boom? We investigate the answers to these questions and more.

Felix Baumgartner
9. Is Baumgartner a pilot?
Yes, Baumgartner is a commercial helicopter pilot. He got his ticket in the United States in 2006.
Felix Baumgartner
8. Does a human body make a sonic boom?
_It does but not a very big one. Baumgartner reported that he didn’t feel it or hear it as he was tumbling, though he might have been joking about this.Ask Chuck Yeager: The occupants in a supersonic jet don’t hear the boom, just those on the ground below. _
Felix Baumgartner
7. How long did it take for the balloon to get up to 128,100 feet?
It took the balloon three hours to rise that high.
Felix Baumgartner
6. How much did the whole thing cost?
Red Bull, the sponsor of the jump, isn’t saying, though informed estimates put the price tag in the millions. It was money well spent. According to Forbes Magazine_, the exposure for Red Bull the jump created is worth tens of millions of dollars and might be the most successful promotional event ever._
Felix Baumgartner
5. Has Baumgartner jumped from a balloon before?
Yes, he’s jumped from the same capsule and type of balloon twice before, once from around 70,000 feet and once from 90,000 feet, so Felix is no stranger to altitude.
Felix Baumgartner
4. Was there a TFR for the jump?
Nope. The FAA was clearly routing traffic around the area, but there were no official TFRs for the jump.
Felix Baumgartner
** 3. What was the biggest risk to the mission’s success?**
Strangely enough, it was Baumgartner’s claustrophobia. He almost quit the program in 2010 before working with a psychologist who specializes in the phobia and getting to the point where he could wear the pressure suit for the length of time —__ almost five hours — it took to complete the mission.
Felix Baumgartner
** 2. Did Baumgartner think of aborting?**
_Apparently he did, not once but twice. The first time was when he was tumbling violently and he considered deploying his stability chute (which would have invalidated his record) and the second time was when his space helmet visor fogged up for the second time while he was descending. _
Felix Baumgartner
** 1. What’s next?**
Baumgartner says he’s done with the daredevil game, and plans, after a break, to fly helicopters commercially, perhaps fighting fires. We’d be surprised not to see him jumping again some day.


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