Space daredevil Baumgartner is 'officially retired'

Oct 24, 2012

Felix Baumgartner, the first man to break the sound barrier in freefall, says he is giving up being a daredevil but now aims to help others in trouble.

"I am officially retired from the daredevil business now," the 43-year-old Austrian told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a meeting Tuesday to discuss his death-defying jump from the edge of space earlier this month.

Ban told Baumgartner how he had joined the millions who watched live coverage of the jump from 24 miles (39 kilometers) above New Mexico when the Austrian reached a claimed top speed of 833.9 miles (1,342 kilometers) per hour, 1.24 times the .

"I thought my heart would stop," the UN leader said, hailing Baumgartner as "the most courageous person in the world."

"We talked about what I accomplished on October 14 and about future plans, how to inspire young people and women," Baumgartner told AFP after his meeting with Ban. He said he was ready to get involved in a United Nations initiative.

But the former paratrooper said he was now concentrating on becoming a commercial helicopter pilot as a retirement job.

"I am going to put myself into public service as a pilot, rescuing people from mountains, as a firefighter," he said, adding that he would work in Austria, Switzerland and the United States.

Though his jump caused mass jitters among others, Baumgartner said he has no physical scars.

"When I landed, I had a medical check and there were no problems," he told AFP. But he is not recommending that anyone try to copy him, saying: "No, I wouldn't. Trust me, it is difficult."

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Austrian daredevil eyes new space jump at weekend

Oct 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)

Oct 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.

Skydiver aims for supersonic plunge on Oct. 8

Sep 25, 2012

(AP)—The countdown is on for skydiver Felix Baumgartner. In just two weeks, the Austrian parachutist will attempt to go supersonic when he jumps from a record altitude of 23 miles (37 kilometers) over the ...

Recommended for you

Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

21 hours ago

Science has often come to the rescue when it comes to the world's big problems, be it the Green Revolution that helped avoid mass starvation or the small pox vaccine that eradicated the disease. There is ...

Japan stem cell body splashes cash on luxury furniture

Apr 14, 2014

A publicly-funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Robotics goes micro-scale

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...