Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

This photo provided by Red Bull Stratos shows pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria reacting after his mission was aborted in Roswell, N.M., Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012.

Red Bull Stratos/Joerg Mitter/The Associated Press

Viewers on the ground looking at the little silvery dot falling from 38 kilometres above could see that Felix Baumgartner was tumbling at one point.

Basking afterward in the success of his record-breaking Mach 1.24 jump, the Austrian parachutist said that, indeed, he had to fight his way out of a spin as he dropped to Earth at a speed that reached a maximum of 373 metres per second.

"That spin became so violent over all axes. It was hard to know how to get out of it," the daredevil told reporters.

Story continues below advertisement

"As the tumble occurs and it ramps up in speed, it gets more and more difficult for Felix to stop it," said the team's technical director, Art Thompson.

That he was able to regain control while encased in an armour-like pressurized suit might be the best argument that the project had some technical value beyond being a commercial stunt.

With private firms now testing a range of new space vehicles, Mr. Baumgartner's team was hoping to gain more insight into how one could survive in cold, near-airless environment.

Astronauts have always struggled with the stiffness created by the difference between the inside of a spacesuit, pumped with enough oxygen to keep a spacefarer alive, and the vacuum outside.

One key challenge for Mr. Baumgartner was having a pressurized suit that was manoeuvrable enough for a skydiver. It was created for him by Canadian engineer Shane Jacobs.

He said that, while he was in the spin, he was tempted to press the button releasing the small emergency chute that would have slowed him. "If I pushed that button, this thing is all over, we're not going to go supersonic."

He held back and made it. "This was tough, believe me. I never anticipated it'd be so tough."

Story continues below advertisement

His feat took place on the 65th anniversary of the first supersonic flight, by Chuck Yeager.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies