You’ve watched Felix Baumgartner jump down to Earth from 128,000 feet up. And since the jump went swimmingly, you don’t feel guilty about going back and watching it again. But what if there were a different way to experience the jump? A perspective that truly gave the viewer an idea of what it was like to be Baumgartner in that moment?
Well, there is. Earlier today, video of the jump surfaced… taken by the camera mounted to Baumgartner during the jump. (It wasn’t technically a helmet cam, since it was attached to his chest, but same idea.) It goes a long way toward humanizing the “falling white dot” blur portion of the previous video, and serves as a nice reminder that a human was falling that fast from 24 miles in the air, and that that human is more fearless than you will ever be. Video, via Mediaite:
Just imagine being Baumgartner and looking down… at that. At the whole world. A vantage point that certainly no one else has ever had while freefalling (and most of us will be perfectly content to let Baumgartner stay the only one). And while I can’t say that I would have thought of this if I were Baumgartner, hurtling toward the ground at the fastest speed a falling human ever traveled, looking at what he saw as he fell, all I can think of is this:
That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Goddamn, Carl Sagan. Goddamn, Felix Baumgartner.