By now many people around the world have watched in awe as skydiver Felix Baumgartner took a step out of a balloon-lifted capsule that sent him traveling 24 miles, at speeds over 830 mph, to earth. What's unknown during those goosebump-inducing moments is what "Fearless Felix" was thinking, dreading and seeing during his descent. Anderson sat down with him to find out what it's like to be the first person to create a supersonic boom, and what he hopes to accomplish next.
Baumgartner calls the view from near space "beautiful," but the surroundings "hostile." That's because he only had 10 minutes worth of oxygen to get him through the jump he had spent five years training to do. Anyone fearing heights would think the look down is the toughest part, but he sees the fall as "the fastest way home in case something goes wrong," and the quickest way toward medical care.
As for rumors that a tear in his specialized suit could be fatal, he says "not true." A hole even the size of a dime wouldn't have affected the outcome. But what could have been a deadly move is Baumgartner making any large movements at all to control the initial spin.
Besides the physical demands, the stunt required extreme focus and an agile mind. Leading up to it, Baumgartner worked with a psychiatrist to overcome anxiety and the feeling of being "trapped in your own little world" inside the suit.
Watch part of their conversation and see more of the interview at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
Watch the historic jump:
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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