Yesterday. Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner set about a million world records when he broke the speed of sound after jumping from a pod hovering 128,100 feet (24 miles!) above earth. It was (unofficially) the highest ever manned balloon flight, and the highest ever freefall.
Baumgartner freefell for four minutes and twenty seconds—including a patch where he tumbled uncontrollably, just a tiny spinning figure on infrared, until he was eventually able to right himself—before his parachute opened and he glided safely to land in New Mexico.
I watched the entire two-hour+ ascent yesterday live on Discovery News, and Iain came and joined me once I started screaming with excitement and terror as Baumgartner prepared to jump. I kept disinterested Deeks abreast of the space jump by text:
By the time Baumgartner was starting to scoot his way out of the pod, I was curled up on the couch with a blanket, writhing in a puckered cringe, but unable to look away. Iain said the best part about watching the space jump was watching me watch the space jump.
I loved it. Way to go, Felix Baumgartner!