More than three million Austrians tuned in live to Austrian space jumper

October 15, 2012

More than three million television and internet viewers in Austria tuned in live to watch Austrian Felix Baumgartner jump from the edge of space on Sunday and become the first man to break the sound barrier unaided by a vehicle.

National broadcaster ORF recorded some 2.3 million television viewers during the nine minutes that 43-year-old Baumgartner plummeted to the earth from 39 kilometres (24 miles) above New Mexico, the highest ever made.

ServusTV, a private channel owned by Baumgartner's sponsors Red Bull that offered almost 10 hours of live broadcast, added another 830,000 viewers in a country of eight million people.

Together the two channels—the only ones providing live broadcats—made up 80 percent of viewership on Sunday.

Almost half a million people also followed the event live on the internet platforms of Servus TV and ORF.

Baumgartner broke three records with his daring jump: the highest freefall jump, the fastest freefall speed and the highest balloon flight by a human.

But these records will still have to be verified by the Supreme National Air Sport Commission (ONF) in Vienna—to establish them as Austrian records—before they can be confirmed by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI).

This could take up to two and a half months, said an ONF spokeswoman.

Austria was quick to hail Baumgartner's accomplishment.

"I warmly congratulate on this great success, which was achieved with courage and perseverance and is finding worldwide attention," President Heinz Fischer reacted on his Facebook page almost immediately after Baumgartner had landed safely in New Mexico.

Chancellor Werner Faymann also rejoiced that the record attempt went smoothly, praising "this impressive achievement."

"Together they went to the boundaries of human possibility and of physics," he said of Baumgartner and his team.

Without exception, the front page of every Austrian newspaper on Monday featured a picture of the Salzburg native in his spacesuit, with headlines including "Success!," "A historic jump" and "Happy End."

The free daily Heute described him as a "The man of the century" while the tabloid Oesterreich spoke of "A jump for eternity."

Explore further: Austrian eyes record jump from edge of space in US

Related Stories

Austrian eyes record jump from edge of space in US

October 8, 2012

An Austrian daredevil is hoping to make an unprecedented leap from the edge of space Tuesday, setting records as he breaks the speed of sound in freefall in the skies above the US state of New Mexico.

Austrian space diver no stranger to danger

October 9, 2012

Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian daredevil who had hoped to make history Tuesday with a jump from the edge of space, is no stranger to death-defying danger.

Austrian daredevil eyes new space jump at weekend

October 11, 2012

An Austrian daredevil hopes to make a new record-breaking attempt to jump from the edge of space Sunday, after his initial launch bid was aborted due to gusting winds, organizers said.

Austrian skydiver reached Mach 1.24: official (Update 2)

October 14, 2012

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner celebrated his unprecedented feat Monday after becoming the first man to break the sound barrier in a record-shattering, death-defying freefall jump from the edge of space.

Recommended for you

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.