Newly released footage from the camera mounted on the helmet of Felix Baumgartner's suit shows his supersonic fall from his point of view. The video shows the critical moment he lost control and spun wildly at a supersonic speed of 834 mph (Mach 1.24).
The video also shows the moment he regained control, keeping a steady and smooth descent course. Baumgarter broke the record for the highest ever manned balloon ascent. He also became the first man to break the speed of sound during freefall, Gizmodo reports.
The 43-year-old describing his "death spin," said: "In that situation, when you spin around, it's like hell and you don't know if you can get out of that spin or not."
The Daily Mail reports that experts say that Baumgartner could have died when he began spinning. Viewers who were aware of the dangers of uncontrolled freefall watched in horror as he appeared to lose control.
The Daily Mail reports there was tense silence at mission control when he began spinning. The effects of spinning, according to experts, include: "headache, shortness of breath, and vision failure, mental confusion, [and] unconsciousness. According to Daily Mail, "He could have burst his eyeballs from pressure building up in the skull with blood and spinal fluid forced outward trough the ocular cavities."
Baumgartner commented on the fall: "The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I’d just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I’d lose consciousness."
He continued: "When I was spinning the first 10, 20 seconds, I never thought I was going to lose my life but I was disappointed because I'm going to lose my record. I put seven years of my life into this. Of course it was terrifying. I was fighting all the way down because I knew that there must be a moment where I can handle it."
Fortunately, Baumgartner managed to regain control, and made a smooth final landing. He reached a supersonic speed of 834 mph during the first fifty seconds of his four-minute free fall, before releasing his parachute 5,000 ft above the ground. When he landed on the ground he fell on his knees and raised a fist in the air triumphantly
When he was asked what breaking the sound barrier felt like, he said: "It is hard to describe it because I didn't feel it. When you're in a dead pressure suit, you don't feel anything."
Part of the risk of Baumgartner's jump was that nobody was certain about the effect of freefall at supersonic speed.
The Daily Mail reports his dive was more than just a stunt. NASA engineers say they will use the data from his fall to design new spacesuits that will provide a freefall escape option from spacecraft.