It was hard not to watch the coverage of Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking plunge yesterday. To think that a human broke the sound barrier while in free-fall is unbelievable to say the least.

Seeing Baumgartner climb out of his capsule and look at the planet beneath him got me thinking about how some of the data points of this feat compare with other data points:

  • How high was he relative to other things I am familiar with, like the cruising altitude of a commercial jetliner?
  • How fast did he travel relative to an NHRA dragster or a bullet being fired from a gun?
  • How long was he falling compared to the fastest mile time?
  • I created this viz to help me answer some of these questions:

    Hope you like it!