Congrats to Felix Baumgartner and team for their successful leap of faith!

Watching the whole program live was something of a throwback to the old Apollo missions. It was the excitement of seeing something big unfold, foot by foot, second by second, in front of your eyes. There was Mission Control, Joe Kittinger as CAPCOM, the chatter between earth and sky. There was even a “God speed” and talk of guardian angels in the control room chatter. It was compelling TV, even without Walter Cronkite.

However, there was something surreal about it too. Instead of a water landing, with frogmen, and a crew of hundreds involved in getting the astronauts out of the drink, here was a single man in a spacesuit landing on his feet in the middle of the desert.  Then again, it was Roswell.

It was great to see Baumgartner’s joy as he dropped to his knees and pumped his arms to the sky, and to see Joe Kittinger do the same at Mission Control.

Now, that’s big.

THEN — On Aug. 16, 1960, Col. Kittinger stepped from a balloon-supported gondola at the altitude of 102,800 feet. In freefall for 4.5 minutes at speeds up to 714 mph and temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit, he opened his parachute at 18,000 feet. (U.S. Air Force photo)

 

AND NOW … Screen capture from BBC of this morning’s jump. 
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8 thoughts on “Congrats to Felix Baumgartner!

    1. For Kittinger it was truly a leap of faith. With the clouds, he couldn’t even see the ground below. Baumgartner was able to most of the way, except for a little fog in his visor when the heating elements weren’t doing their thing. I loved that Kittinger, at least twice in going through Baumgartner’s check lists left the last step in the hands of the guardian angels. Amen.

    1. I’m sure people thought the same of Alan Shepard as he sat atop that Redstone rocket for our first suborbital flight. 🙂 One thing’s for sure, Baumgartner sure was falling fast as he stepped out of the capsule. We wondered whether he was having any second thoughts as a paused at the door.

  1. It reminded me of watching the first man on the moon mission back when I was a little girl. Sunday, we watched the entire program, afraid to miss anything at all. My husband used to be a sky jumper and commented that Felix’s jump was “perfect”. We could hardly breathe as he plummented to the Earth. Amazing!!

    1. You know, it’s been a LONG time since any of us have had that kind of excitement. Sadly, the only times the space program seemed to capture the world was during a tragedy. This was so refreshing, for all the reasons you mentioned. It was a blast from the past, but a look to the future. Thanks for taking time to visit and comment!

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