Baumgartner, Felix, 1969–, Austrian skydiver and daredevil. He made his first skydive at age 16, and turned to BASE jumping [Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), and Earth (mountains)] in the 1990s. He has jumped from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1999) and Taipei 101, Taiwan (2007), the world's tallest buildings at the time, and also made (2010) the world's lowest BASE jump, 95 ft (29 m), off the Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro. He flew across the English Channel in 2003 using a winged suit. In 2012 he jumped from a helium balloon 127,852.4 ft (38,696.4 m) above New Mexico, dropping from the edge of space and breaking the sound barrier; he attained a maximum speed of 843.6 mph (1,357.6 km/h) in the highest and fastest skydive made up to then. His jump height was exceeded in 2014 by Alan Eustace.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Sports: Biographies