A viral video showing an Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner make a record breaking supersonic freefall jump in October 2012, from a helium balloon in the stratosphere from 1,28,097 feet above earth, is being shared with the misleading claim that it shows an Australian scientist jumping from space and landing on earth.
The Kármán line, an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) above sea level, is conventionally used as the start of outer space in space treaties and for aerospace records. BOOM found that the breathtaking freefall jump in the viral video is from much below this level, and was from the stratosphere (above 24 miles), at around 39 kilometers, and not from space as being claimed.
In the 4.16 minutes viral video, a man can be seen jumping from a helium balloon and landing successfully using a parachute while wearing a customised spacesuit.
The video is being shared with the caption reading, "Australian scientist jumped 1,28000 feet from space and reached Earth, completing the 1236 km journey in 4 minutes and 5 seconds. He clearly saw the earth moving. Awesome video, watch it too."
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The same video is being shared widely on Facebook with the misleading claim.
BOOM that the viral video shows an Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner make a record breaking supersonic freefall jump in October 2012, from a helium balloon in the stratosphere from 1,28,097 feet (above 24 miles) above earth
The claim that the man in the video is an Australian scientist jumping from space and landing on earth is incorrect. The Kármán line, an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) above sea level, is conventionally used as the start of outer space in space treaties and for aerospace records, and the freefall jump in the viral video is from much below this level from the stratosphere, at around 39 kilometers.
The video has multiple visual and audio clues like the man's name being mentioned as Felix, a BBC logo appearing in the video, and at 3.16 minutes, one can see a large sign with the text "Red Bull Stratos: Mission control: Rosewell, New Mexico."
Using these keywords, we found the original video, the video uploaded in 2016 titled, ''Jumping From Space! - Red Bull Space Dive - BBC", the caption, "The moment has finally arrived, it's time for Felix Baumgartner to perform the space dive. Taken from Red Bull Space Dive."
The BBC reported on this supersonic freefall jump in October 2012 stating that Austrian Felix Baumgartner had become the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound, reaching a maximum velocity of 833.9mph (1,342km/h).
The report futher reported that Baumgartner had jumped out of a balloon 128,100ft (24 miles; 39km) above New Mexico, and smashed the record for the highest ever freefall as part of Red Bull Stratos Mission.
Baumgartner's supersonic jump was sponsored by energy drink company Red Bull, which had also uploaded a video highlight of the mission on October 15, 2012, with the title, 'Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall from 128k' - Mission Highlights.'
The caption reads, "After flying to an altitude of 39,045 meters (128,100 feet) in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner completed a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane. Felix reached a maximum of speed of 1,357.6 km/h or 843.6 mph(Mach 1.25) through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4:20 minute long freefall.."
The visuals in both the BBC video and the Red Bull video match with the viral video which shows that they are from the same record breaking event.
While, Red Bull Stratos Mission described the mission as "Mission to the edge of space" and reporting on it in the media described the supersonic jump as "Jumping from space" as in the BBC Studious video, However, critics have questioned that description, pointing that the more scientifically accepted definition for the "edge of space" is the Kármán line at 100 kilometers (62 mi).
Tony Rice, a volunteer in the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador program, in an article dated October 16, 2012 on WRAL news on the controversy wrote, "Felix Baumgartner's jump was incredible and, as data is certified over the coming days, records for speed (833.9 mph / Mach 1.24), exit altitude (128,100 feet), and freefall (119,846 feet) will be recorded. However, jumping from the "edge of space" will have to remain a poetic description of the project."
On October 24, 2014, Google executive Alan Eustace (USA) fell to Earth from 41,422 metres (135,898 ft), and broke Felix's record for the Highest freefall parachute jump.
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