Sunday, October 14, 2012


Baumgartner, First Skydiver 
to break Sound Barrier from Space


Suite Felix Baumgartner wore while crossing the English Channel.

Austrian Felix Baumgartner is the first person to ever skydive from 24 miles above Earth and break the sound barrier doing so. The dive was sponsored by Redbull Stratos and took place above New Mexico. 

When I watched the live coverage of the event I was so nervous! The video of Baumgartner on the steps of the vessel before he jumped was breathtaking. All I could think was, wow, this guy must be crazy to skydive from the edge of space down to Earth. 

To be honest though I was disappointed with some TV news outlets and their coverage of this event. I tuned-in to CNN on TV and they did not show the full dive live. They said that once Baumgartner landed safely they would then air clips of the dive. But CNN did show Baumgartner step off the platform and initiate his decent and then later showed his two-feet landing.  But I was very upset by the fact that I was unable to watch the fall live; so I quickly looked up on my computer live coverage of the event from the Redbull youtube video. 

I did not watch the event live from BBC news' coverage, however, I did read a BBC news article later to see what additional information was shared about the event. The BBC article talked about the obstacles that Baumgartner ran into during his mission, such as a heater in his helmet that malfunctioned leaving his helmet foggy when he exhaled. While watching Baumgartner on TV, I thought to myself that it looked as though he was hesitant at times to jump. The BBC news article explained that he almost aborted the dive because his helmet fogged up. Baumgartner ran into another obsticle when he started to tumble during his dive. But because of his experience he was able to reposition his body into the correction position. What astounded me was that Baumgartner completed 2,500 dives previous to this one and trained five years for this mission, according the BBC news article.

I liked how BBC news included a video of the event and I believe this event definitely required a video. BBC news also include an audio clip of an interview with Felix Baumgartner after his dive. Baumgartner said that he did not feel anything during the time he broke the sound barrier. He also explained how he felt at multiple stages during the dive and what dilemmas he was faced with. There was a point where he debated whether to deploy his parachute when he began to tumble. But he decided to continue and quickly regained control so that he could try to break the sound barrier.  I found Baumgartner's comment about how it was such a "humbling experience" to be the most moving. 

Your two cents:

What did you think about the way the media covered the event? What were your thoughts while watching his dive?

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