Stratos anniversary! See the best of Baumgartner

On the second anniversary of Red Bull Stratos we look back at six ways Felix made us say ‘wow’!
Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria jumps out from the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on October 14 2012
An historic 4:22 freefall © Red Bull Stratos
By Frank Forrester

It's two years to the day since Felix Baumgartner's world-record-breaking fall from space. We're honouring the occasion by looking back at some of Baumgartner's most memorable moments – all of them in the air.

1. The jump from space
Risk factor:  Unknown
Wow factor:
Off the charts
Thank goodness for:
Oxygen tanks, pressurized space suits, and oh, yeah, Go Pros! 

Possibly the most famous (and definitely most watched) skydive of all time. Baumgartner ascends to 127,852 feet, towed up by a hot-air balloon, before tumbling from the stratosphere back down to earth. He reached a speed of 833.9 mph and was in free-fall for four minutes and 22 seconds before opening his chute for the ride back to earth.
 

Felix Baumgartner flying over Taiwan
The Taiwan tumble © Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

2. The Taiwan tumble
Risk factor: Police
Wow factor:
It happened so fast, did anyone see it?

Many early BASE jumps were done under the radar – and over the railing – literally. Since he didn't want authorities to prevent from him climbing over the 3m guardrail on the Taipei 101 Tower observation deck, Baumgartner hired breakdancers to perform and distract the guards and other sightseers. He then quickly boarded a plane out of the country – but still got banned from Taiwan.

3. Hole shot
Risk factor: No light, less height
Wow factor: This is the closest a human has ever been to being batman

The jump into Mamet cave in Gospic, Croatia turned out to be one of the most unique jumps Baumgartner has ever done. We guess he didn't have to worry about it being too windy when he threw his chute. Fortunately, this journey towards the centre of the earth stopped after 200m, when Baumgartner safely landed on the cave floor. 

Felix Baumgartner of Austria flies during the Man vs. Machine stunt at Lake Powell in Utah.
Man vs. machine © Stefan Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool

4. Man vs. machine
Risk factor: Felix raced a plane
Wow factor: Felix raced a plane 

OK, so technically, this is man vs. man-with-a-wing. But who cares? It's still awesome. Baumgartner was travelling at 260kph over Lake Powell in Utah. Who won? Everybody who got to see it happen.

5. Air England
Risk factor: Wet parachutes don't float
Wow factor: Rock star level? International

Back in the day, people became famous for swimming across the English Channel. Felix isn't much of a swimmer – but he's a helluva pilot. Using a custom fixed wing, Baumgartner became the first human to cross the English Channel by air – without an engine.

6. Tackling Torre Mayor
Risk factor: Tiny landing zone
Wow factor: Tallest building in Mexico City

This city-centre stunt drew no small crowd of spectators, many of whom had absolutely no idea why a human was leaping from a building. Despite windy, technical conditions, Baumgartner sticks the backie, and nails his landing. Olé!

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