Chances are likely that your job doesn’t involve free-falling, setting a world record, wearing a space suit, risking your life or breaking the sound barrier. But in your line of work, Forbes tells us there are many similar traits you can share with Red Bull Stratos jumper Felix Baumgartner. You may just not have realized it yet.
Be fearless: You would think from the obvious — freefalling from 24 miles above the Earth — “Fearless Felix” wouldn’t have a fear of heights. And you’d be right, but he does suffer from claustrophobia, and his tight pressurized suit only enhanced this fear. Still, he was able to jump past the fear and into the record books.
Be prepared: The jump was five years in the making, and Baumgartner completed two test jumps to prepare for the big one. He came into this stunt making more than 2,500 various jumps and holding the record for the highest parachute jump. He was also the first person to skydive across the English Channel.
Take your time: The record-setting jump was originally scheduled for Oct. 9, but had to be moved because of weather conditions. But after five years, what’s another five days?
Surround yourself with a good team: Baumgartner made the jump solo, but the Red Bull Stratos team included “experts in medicine, science and engineering, including a former NASA crew surgeon, record-breaking aviators, and designers of some of the most innovative aircraft ever produced,” according to the Stratos website.
Breathe: Much like deep-sea diver, Baumgartner “pre-breathed” oxygen for two hours before his ascent in the balloon to help reduce the amount of nitrogen in his blood. During his fall, he had a set amount of oxygen to breathe, which was displayed during the live video feed like a tracking bar in a video game.
Know where you began: Baumgartner landed just 23 miles from where his balloon took off. Because he was still in the Earth’s atmosphere, he never experienced the Earth rotating. Once he deployed his parachute, he was able to somewhat steer himself.
Spend money to make money: The production cost of this jump is figured to be several million dollars. There are fees and expenses for the nearly 40 engineers, scientists and consultants involved. A high-altitude helium balloon alone costs roughly $200,000 and the project requires several for test flights and backup. Baumgartner’s “next generation” pressure suit cost about $250,000. The vehicle is equipped with 15 high-tech video and still cameras. The exposure for Red Bull, however, is likely worth tens of millions.
Even in a downward spiral, you can land on your feet: While he tossed head over heels, around and around at points during his fall toward Earth, Baumgartner said “it was like hell.” He stopped talking during the fall and we only heard him pant for a period. But in the end he landed on his feet in a field in New Mexico.
End your career on a personal high: ”I’m retired from the daredevil business,” Baumgartner told reporters after his jump. “I want to find a nice decent job as a helicopter pilot. I’ll fight fires and rescue people. No emails, no phone calls.”
Change the world: This was the mission of Red Bull, and it’s the motto of FORBES. No challenge is too great.
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