Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/14/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Record-breaking stunt could have resulted in his slow, painful death

Why do men climb mountains? Because it's there. For record-breaking parachutist "Fearless Felix" Baumgartner, who chose to jump from outer space 24 miles above the earth because he could. Any error would have resulted in a slow painful death, with his blood boiling, his eyes popping out of his head and his brain exploding. But Baumgartner safely landed, breaking all previous records - and he's ready to do even more.

Fearless Felix Baumgartner's success robbed his friend Joe Kittinger with his sole record, for the longest time spent in a freefall. But he was clearly as relieved as anyone to see the others broken at last.

Fearless Felix Baumgartner's success robbed his friend Joe Kittinger with his sole record, for the longest time spent in a freefall. But he was clearly as relieved as anyone to see the others broken at last.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/14/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Sports

Keywords: Fearless Felix Baumgartner, skydiving, record, balloon, freefall

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Taking five years to plan, the 43-year-old Baumgartner developed a special hi-tech jumpsuit. Taking to the skies in a special balloon, Baumgartner also broke a world record in balloon ascension. When the balloon stopped rising, Baumgartner began conducting his final exit checks. In his bulky, suit, the skydiver had little room to maneuver inside the capsule and had to slide, feet first through the hatch.
With no turning back, the world collectively held its breath as he hurtled through the sky, a tiny speck against a dark sky, plunging 24 miles above the Earth at up to 729 miles per hour.

His parachute opened. Five minutes later, to the relief of the millions, Baumgartner made the highest and fastest skydive in history, becoming the first freefall diver to break the sound barrier.

The event was almost cancelled. The balloon ascent took around two-and-a-half hours, faster than expected. Baumgartner reported that the heating device in his visor was not working properly, causing it to mist up.

Baumgartner's friend and mentor, 84-year-old Joe Kittinger discussed whether to scrub the mission. Kittinger was a former U.S. Air Force colonel who set the previous freefall record in 1960 when he jumped from 102,800 feet, had agreed to come out of retirement to help Baumgartner set a new record.

Both decided to go ahead, and as the balloon stopped rising, Baumgartner began conducting his final exit checks. 

Gripping the hand rails on either side of the hatch exterior, Baumgartner gave a final salute, and fell forwards in what his team describes as "bunny hop," pushing out with both feet at the same time to avoid falling into a potentially fatal flat-spin.

Plunging headfirst through the air, his 70-strong team of engineers, doctors and scientists had previously estimated Baumgartner would fall at around 700 miles per hour in the first 50 seconds.

But he managed to plunge even faster, reaching 729 miles per hour during the first 50 seconds of the four minute, 22 second freefall.

Baumgartner's success robbed his friend Kittinger with his sole record, for the longest time spent in a freefall. But he was clearly as relieved as anyone to see the others broken at last.

"Couldn't have done it better myself," he joked as Baumgartner glided to the ground.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.


More Sports

UN 'expert' condemns Redskins football team Watch

Image of While the Washington Redskins have been criticized over their icon and name, public opinion still rests heavily with them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Washington Redskins may receive a name change, at least if a so-called expert on indigenous rights gets his way. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Anaya, a law professor with the University of Arizona, oversees global indigenous rights with the UN, and said ... continue reading

Say it ain't so! Yankee pitcher suspected of cheating Watch

Image of A mysterious substance was visible on Pineda's hand through the early portion of the April 10 game against the Red Sox, during the fifth inning the substance did not appear.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A few eyebrows were raised during the season's first New York Yankee-Chicago Red Sox game, Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda apparently had a suspicious substance on his hand during the third inning of the April 10 game. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pineda ... continue reading

Post-surgery infections may cost swimmer his arm Watch

Image of Ian Thorpe has won five Olympic gold medals, and 11 World Championship golds in freestyle swimming.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five time Australian Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe may lose the use of his left arm due to a severe infection which developed after he underwent multiple surgeries on that shoulder in the last two months. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thorpe's manager, ... continue reading

Petition seeks to ban Michael Vick from college campus Watch

Image of Michael Vick was signed on to be the new quarterback for the New York Jets, in a one year, $5 million contract.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Michael Vick, the new quarterback for the New York Jets, may still face repercussions from felony dog fighting charges back in 2007. At least if a petition circling the web acquires enough signatures. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The petition making the rounds ... continue reading

University of Connecticut takes Division 1 title Watch

Image of UConn has taken the NCAA championship title for the fourth time. The last time the school won was back in 2011 after a 53-41 win over Butler.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The University of Connecticut (31-8, 12-6) wowed the world with a 60-54 victory over the University of Kentucky (28-11, 12-6), claiming the NCAA Division 1 basketball title for the fourth time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The East's seventh-seeded Huskies ... continue reading

The Trump may purchase Buffalo Bills Watch

Image of Donald Trump reports that he was approached by a group who asked if he was interested in investing in a bid for the Buffalo Bills

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New York business tycoon and billionaire, Donald Trump, reports that he has been approached by a group about buying or investing in the NFL's Buffalo Bills franchise on April 1. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speculation over the future of the team has run ... continue reading

Baseball legend breaks leg during Angels opening pitch Watch

Image of Don Baylor played for the Anaheim Angels from 1978-82, and is now their hitting coach.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Don Baylor, the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Angels, broke his leg during the ceremonial first pitch of the Angels opening game against the Seattle Mariners on March 31. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Baylor apparently broke his leg when he moved to catch ... continue reading

Red Sox honored by President Obama for 2013 World Series win Watch

Image of Jon Lester pitched a great game, giving up only two runs for six hits, but his performance was not enough to beat the Orioles.

By Catholic Online (NEWS COSORTIUM)

The Boston Red Sox lost their season opener 2-1 against the Baltimore Orioles on March 31. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester managed to hold the Orioles to just two runs on six hits during the game, but his offensive play was still not ... continue reading

Dayton knocked out by Florida in 'Elite Eight' Watch

Image of Wisconsin upset the first seeded team, University of Arizona, to place in the

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The University of Dayton (27-11, 10-6) has ended its surprising run in the NCAA Division 1 tournament after being knocked out by the tournament's first-seeded team, University of Florida (36-2, 18-0) in a 62-52 loss on March 29 during the tournament's "Elite ... continue reading

Gang association causes Eagles to release DeSean Jackson Watch

Image of Jackson threw up Crip gang signs during a 2013 game against the Washington Redskins.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Philadelphia Eagles announced that they are releasing receiver DeSean James on March 27, purportedly in regards to Jackson's association with gangs based in Los Angeles that are possibly connected to two murders that took place there in 2010. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

All Sports News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook

Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter