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October 24th, 2012
10:44 PM ET

Felix Baumgartner: I didn't feel sonic boom

Felix Baumgartner takes Anderson Cooper through the experience of breaking the sound barrier during his historic jump.  "Until I opened my parachute I did not know if I broke the speed of sound or not. So when I touched the ground with my parachute, I have been told by a lot of people on the ground they heard the super sonic boom. It's the first and only super sonic boom created by a human," said Baumgartner. The skydiver said he was worried about nailing the perfect landing  without falling because "the whole world was watching."

See more of the interview, including why Baumgartner calls the edge of space both beautiful and hostile:

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Filed under: 360° Interview
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. John

    ok theres alot of confusion about this first off there are two possible things happening here, 1. going faster than the speed of sound and 2. breaking the sound "barrier" and generating a sonic boom. These are two seperate things, firstly the speed of sound at sea level at average temperatures is around 767 mph ok he did exceed this for sure by about 65 mph. Now heres where it gets all funny, the speed of sound is not fixed but varies on air pressure and especially temperature! I guess the real question is what was the speed of sound at the point he may have exceeded it during his descent the speed of sound can be as low as 500 mph at extreme high altitudes and low temperatures. For example at 70,000 ft the outside temperature he passed through was 95 f degrees below zero. Where he jumped from his capsule there was virtually no air pressure and hence no sound possible at all. Therefore there may or may not have been any sound barrier to break at the altitude and temperatures he was passing through when he was going fast enough to break such a barrier! It gets even more complicated when it comes to a sonic boom, again there may or may not have been a sonic boom, that some people say they heard one may indicate that there may have been. But thats all irrelevant as he did exceed the speed of sound at the standard speed it is agreed upon.

    October 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  2. Ashleigh

    @Luis- The speed of sound is ~760mph. 714mph would not break the speed of sound.

    October 28, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Joe Kittenger set 4 records. Height, Speed, Time of Freefall, i forget the other. Felix is the First yes. The top speed was 833.0 mph. Joe only holds the longest time now still set in 1961.

    Felix Jumped on the day The first man to break the sound barrier in a vehicle. Which was Chuck Yeager.

    October 27, 2012 at 3:55 am |
  4. Luis F. Vasquez

    Was he really the first to brake the speed sound barrier on a free fall?
    USAF Captain Joseph Kittinger set three records on August 16th – highest parachute jump (102,800 feet), the longest parachute free fall (4 minutes 36 seconds), and the first person to exceed the speed of sound without an aircraft or space vehicle (714 mph during free fall).
    The above took place in the 60’s.
    Best regards.

    October 25, 2012 at 11:20 am |