Super Bowl viewers — at least those who watched the ads — got a stomach-in-the-throat taste of Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking 24-mile plunge from the edge of space to Earth in October 2012.
If you missed it and the original jump — provided you're not acrophobic — do watch the Austrian sky diver's 127,852-foot freefall from a pressurized capsule to the red desert near Roswell, N.M. During his eight-minute plunge, Baumgartner broke the sound barrier, reaching a speed of 843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25, a first for a human with just his body.
The epic feat, sponsored by Red Bull, was captured by more than 30 high-definition GoPro cameras on the ground and outside of the capsule, which was carried aloft by a special balloon. Baumgartner and his pressurized suit were equipped with seven cams.
More than 52 million people watched the live stream, and they were treated to some moments of high anxiety. For several thousand feet Baumgartner spun wildly out of control, and ground crews worried he would black out. But "Fearless Felix" regained control, deployed his parachute and landed on his feet.
The previous record was set by Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger in August 1960, who plunged from the open gondola of a balloon from 102,800 feet — 19.5 miles. At age 84, he was the capsule communicator who directed Baumgartner on the way down.