He knew he'd be a global hero or a flattened corpse. There wasn't an option C.
Felix Baumgartner overcame those risks and made history on Sunday as he jumped from a hovering platform 24.5 miles above the earth. Wearing a space suit, "Fearless Felix" reached 729 heart-pounding miles per hour before he ultimately landed safely by parachute (video below). The jump wasn't without extreme peril. At one point, Baumgartner goes into a dangerous spin that left him trying to find any semblance of control.
Before leaping to earth, Baumgartner ascended 127,718 feet inside a capsule attached to a 55-story helium balloon. Although he was originally scheduled to make the jump earlier in the week, the daredevil encountered numerous weather delays. Baumgartner broke the previous skydiving record, held by Joe Kittinger, who lept 102,800 feet [19 miles] in 1960. Kittinger communicated with Baumgartner, via radio, during his ascent in the pressurized capsule.