In mid-October, Austrian skydiver 'Fearless Felix' Baumgartner broke the world records for balloon and free-fall height and became the first person to break the sound barrier without propulsion.
In a SPIEGEL interview, he discusses the feat -- and how the real challenges were mental. Baumgartner, your supersonic skydive from an altitude of 39,045 meters (24.3 miles) above New Mexico has been described as the latter-day equivalent of the moon landing.
These kids are happy to have had such a momentous event in their lifetime.In this case, they've witnessed the first person to fly at faster than speed of the sound without propulsion.SPIEGEL: Was there any purpose behind your jump from the stratosphere, or was it merely a stunt?Baumgartner: It's hard to classify my jump because the impressions are still so fresh in my mind.I still don't really understand exactly what I've accomplished, although I always suspected it would be a truly spectacular moment.
Even so, I would've never dreamt that my skydive would trigger such gushing enthusiasm.
SPIEGEL: Your skydive drew the biggest live audience ever on You Tube.
Eight million people watched you over the Internet.
That's more than watched the inauguration of US President Barack Obama. Baumgartner: Aviation -- and space travel, in particular -- have always been especially captivating.
To this day, only 12 people have ever set foot on the moon.
People are fascinated about the world above them because it seems so out-of-reach.