Felix Baumgartner of Austria seen in Lucerne, Switzerland on August 16, 2022.
© Mihai Stetcu

Stratos by the numbers: the key stats behind Felix Baumgartner’s space jump

Here are the key numbers – and the stories behind them – from Red Bull Stratos, the free-fall from space that held millions enthralled 10 years ago.
Written by Matt Majendie
4 min readPublished on


Felix Baumgartner’s spacesuit had to be designed for temperatures of -72°C. Created by the David Clark Company, its surprisingly un-bulky form has played a role in shaping the suits of Air Force pilots and astronauts. Baumgartner explains: “By reducing the pressure, you have a lot more mobility, which every pilot appreciates in the military using a suit like this that everything was getting a little bit thinner. So, it's not that bulky anymore. There are a lot of learnings from our skydive from the stratosphere that have been applied to the military.”


The aim was to become the first human to travel at Mach 1 or the speed of sound without an aircraft. It took Felix just 34 seconds to go supersonic, as he reached a top speed of 844mph (1,358kph). Looking back, he says: “I wanted to be the first human outside an aircraft breaking the sound barrier.”


Baumgartner was just five years old when he drew a picture of himself hanging underneath a parachute. It proved a prophetic piece of artwork, his mother showing it to him for the first time a year after Red Bull Stratos. On reflection, he said: “You don’t even think about skydiving or breaking any records at the age of five, but it looks like there was something in my mind already growing like a seed that you plant somewhere. Looking at that picture and then knowing it happened 40 years later is quite impressive.”


The number of hours which he had to spend with his visor shut, a psychological stumbling block which might have ended the entire project. “It became a nightmare at a certain point because I start getting anxious inside, claustrophobic. I looked at the suit as my worst enemy every time. It’s hard to breathe inside a helmet like this. It’s almost like you’re breathing through a pillow.”

1 min

Space Jump

Never-before-seen images and perspectives commemorate the legacy of Red Bull Stratos and Felix Baumgartner.

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The number of minutes it took him to get back to Earth from his capsule, half of which was spent in free-fall. His pressurised spacesuit had 20 minutes of oxygen within it, allowing him time in the then-depressurised cabin before take-off and for the flight itself.


The day in October 2012 that he made the historic jump. Such was the nervous energy that he barely slept at all the night before then rising at 2am to get ready for the expedition. Following the adrenaline and euphoria of the jump, he even saw in the sunrise the following morning.


The age that his journey from space effectively began. It was then that he strapped on a parachute for the first time and jumped out of a plane, which led in turn to his BASE-jumping career and then Red Bull Stratos. “It showed that a skydiver can come from an ordinary family. I mean, my mother grew up on a farm, 15 siblings. My dad is a carpenter and I strapped on a parachute at the age of 16.”
Felix Baumgartner of Austria seen in Salzburg, Austria on August 24, 2022.

Felix Baumgartner performing pre-flight safety checks

© Jorg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool


The balloon that took him up to space was enormous, the size of 33 football pitches and twice as high as the Saturn V rocket they used for the Apollo missions to the Moon. It was 10 times thinner than a sandwich bag but, filled with helium, it weighed 3,708lbs (1,682kg) and carried 835,000 cubic metres when full. The first 3,000ft (914m) of the ascent were critical, known by the team as “the death main”. In total, it took 18 to 20 people to move the balloon around very delicately to avoid any damage.


The height in metres from which he fell back down to earth, or else 127,852.4ft. They fragility of the balloon meant ensuring they kept below 40,000m. As Baumgartner remembered: “It’s almost ripping off. That’s why we had to go down a little bit.”


The altitude, in feet, of the Armstrong line where the blood begins to boil if not within a pressurised suit. He started his flight from double that height. By 62,000ft (19,000m) having flipped through the air, he stabilised in the thicker air and enjoyed the experience from there. He recalls: “I got the problem solved. It was actually the first moment where I had time to enjoy the beauty of nature.”

Part of this story

Felix Baumgartner

Felix Baumgartner will forever be the man who fell from space – indelibly linked with the moment when he jumped from a capsule nearly 40km above the New Mexico desert and the world held its breath.


Space Jump

Never-before-seen images and perspectives commemorate the legacy of Red Bull Stratos and Felix Baumgartner.

48 min