How We Felt the Thrill with Felix Baumgartner
My brother, Mark, anticipated Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking freefall all weekend long. Animated explanations of the space suit Baumgartner would wear, how he would leap from above the stratosphere, how he would break the sound barrier on his way down, and how there was the possibility that Baumgartner may not survive the jump were the talk of the dinner table.
Mark posted this photo the night before Baumgartner’s jump with the phrase: “Whatever happens tomorrow… It’s gonna be historic.” And indeed it was, thanks in large part to the way people were able to view the jump via YouTube and the talk of the jump on Facebook and Twitter.
The jump was more revolutionary than watching John Glen walk on the moon. This time, viewers of Baumgartner’s freefall saw the drop almost exactly as he did. From above Baumgartner’s head, we saw the Earth below just as he saw it. Some viewers, like my brother, found it almost as thrilling as Baumgartner himself did.
As Baumgartner spiraled and flipped through the air as he fell, people all over the world cheered, posted, and tweeted. Red Bull, which sponsored Baumgartner, captured a photo of him just after he landed.
Since the photo was posted to Facebook, it has received 504,057 likes, 14,761 comments, and was shared 67,021 times. Similarly, Felix Baumgartner immediately began trending on Twitter, and tweets are continuing to trend about him now. It seems like everyone is talking about Felix Baumgartner in all available social forums. Red Bull also solicited questions about the jump for Baumgartner, promising that he would answer three questions at a post-jump news conference. Before the jump, the Red Bull Stratos website also started an online competition to estimate where Baumgartner would land. The competition included 153,180 people who made a guess at his precise longitude and latitude.
Viewers sat on the edge of their seats as they watched Baumgartner stand on the edge of a capsule suspended approximately 24 miles from the ground, then travelled to the ground with him as he fell at 833.9 miles per hour. We felt our own stomachs drop as he plummeted to the ground. We saw how shockingly fast he disappeared as he fell. Thanks to social media, viewers got the quickest results and the most incredible experience by watching this historic event.
This article was written by Alyssa McCluskey – Online Marketing Strategist at Dream Local Digital. Alyssa has lived in the Midcoast area for seventeen years. Raised in Hope, Maine, she graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School in 2008 and recently finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of Maine at Orono. Alyssa has been a part of the local community for a number of years: she was a member of the Pen Bay Sailfish Swim Team for twelve years, and worked for the Penobscot Bay YMCA by helping to develop youth through swimming lessons and summer camp. She was also a member of the UMaine community during her four years in Orono as a Resident Assistant. Her past community involvement gave Alyssa the skills to interact with people, desire to get involved and see local businesses thrive. She is very excited to use her skills as a writer and to learn more about social media to support the community that has made such a huge impact on her life. To contact Alyssa, email firstname.lastname@example.org.