Austrian energy drink company Red Bull on Sunday celebrated the successful execution of its 'Mission to the Edge of Space' project. Also known as Red Bull Stratos, the mission saw 43-year-old Felix Baumgartner ascend 24 miles into the stratosphere and sky dive back down. Baumgartner set the altitude record for a manned balloon flight on his way up, and records for parachute jump from the highest altitude and greatest free fall velocity on the way down.
Baumgartner had help from one Colonel Joe Kittinger, the man who held the previous records for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, and fastest speed by a human being through the atmosphere. Kittinger achieved his records in 1960 while taking part a military project called Project Excelsior. Kittinger communicated with Baumgartner while he was in the capsule on his way up and during the process of the jump. He also communicated with him while he was on the way down.
All told, a record-breaking eight million people watched the stunt happen live via YouTube. This is in addition to the millions that watched via television broadcast partnerships established with broadcasters and Red Bull. The event also saw Red Bull gain 180,000 YouTube subscribers in the last seven days.
Red Bull says that all told, there were over 35 moving and still image cameras documenting the mission, including two ground-based optical tracking systems that allowed viewers to track Felix's entire freefall, and five POV cameras on Felix's body, which recorded his entire freefall experience.