On the morning of Oct. 14, 2012, Austrian sky diver Felix Baumgartner strapped himself to a helium balloon that carried him 24 miles above Roswell, N.M., to the edge of space. Then, with just a spacesuit and parachute, he made a nine-minute, supersonic jump that catapulted him into history books as the first person to break the speed of sound in free fall–at 833.9 mph, or Mach 1.24–without mechanical intervention.
This multimillion-dollar stunt wasn’t funded by NASA or SpaceX. No, this spectacle, seven years in the making, was the work of Red Bull. The energy-drink giant’s “Stratos” campaign resulted in the most-watched YouTube live stream of all time (8 million concurrent views), a global broadcast seen in more than 50 countries and a documentary, Space Dive, produced by Red Bull with National Geographic Channel and the BBC.
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