Published: July 19, 2016
In 2012, Felix Baumgartner made a skydive from the edge of space. Two years later, a Google exec broke his record...
Felix Baumgartner: The Man Who Jumped From Space
Felix Baumgartner is a skydiver and BASE jumper. In 2012, he participated in the Red Bull Stratos project.
The aim of the project was to set a new record for the highest skydive ever made. Having started his career in the Austrian military, Baumgartner was a renowned daredevil and up for the challenge!
His jump, which he made in October 2012, was watched by millions as it streamed live across the world (watch Felix Baumgartner space jump video). He jumped from 127,852 feet (38,969 meters), making his, at the time, the highest skydive ever!
To reach that height and make a world record free fall, Baumgartner, and the Red Bull team used a helium balloon. Felix broke the records for vertical freefall distance without a drogue and vertical speed without a drogue. He was also the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power.
Alan Eustace: Highest Skydive In History
Baumgartner's jump was quite a feat and it seemed he would hold his record for many years to come.
However, a man named Alan Eustace had other ideas.
Alan Eustace is a computer scientist who held the role of Senior Vice President of Knowledge at Google. Over the course of his career, Eustace's name appeared on ten patents.
His hunger for exploration led Eustace to engage Taber MacCallum, one of the founders of Biosphere 2, to help him plan the highest skydive ever.
On October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace launched from Roswell, New Mexico. Like Baumgartner, he used a helium balloon to reach his altitude but, unlike Baumgartner, he was suspended under his balloon rather than riding on a platform.
Alan Eustace's jump was recorded from the height of 135,889 feet (41.41 kilometers), making his the highest jump ever, topping even the red bull highest skydive. Watch Alan Eustace jump video.
"Regular" Skydiving Heights
Of course, such a feat is far more complex and requires much more planning than any regular skydive. Typically, we jump from around 10,000 feet, giving you just under a minute in freefall. And unlike Baumgartner and Eustace, you can jump after a 20-minute brief - no need to spend years in training!