Just read this, might bare some light on what it was about (as well as breaking records!):
Nobody, not even NASA, knows what will happen when Felix Baumgartner breaks the sound barrier. Later this year, having ascended over three hours to 36,000 metres - the edge of space - in a capsule suspended from a helium "stratospheric balloon", he will roll his metal seat forward, stand up in his spacesuit and jump. Around 35 seconds later, he will go supersonic. The first human in history to do so unaided. And that is when it could all go wrong.
"Scientists from all over the world have been talking to us," says Baumgartner, a 43-year-old from Austria with spiky hair and an athletic build. "But some things in life you cannot simulate, you cannot calculate with a computer." The risks are extensive: aerodynamic forces could throw him into a spin from which it would be enormously hard to recover because the air is so thin, or his suit could rip apart as he rumbles past the speed of sound. He can take solace in history: Lockheed test pilot Bill Weaver survived his SR-71 Blackbird disintegrating at supersonic speed in 1966. But Baumgartner won't have an aircraft's protection as he accelerates. And then there are the unaccountables: what if his oxygen supply fails or his parachute freezes? "Ultimately, you just have to go for it," he says. "If the Wright brothers hadn't put their lives on the line, we would not be flying around the world these days. So we need pioneers."
For all of the protective kit Baumgartner will be wearing - a pressurised suit to stop his blood boiling, an oxygen-regulating helmet - his safety will partly be down to psychology. As he prepares to leap, he will see the void of space above him and the curvature of the earth below. It's a sight so sublime that he risks the "breakaway effect" - a sense of touching eternity - and that can really throw an aeronaut off. "But I have a long history of doing extreme things these past 22 years and it has never happened to me. And trust me, when you're standing on the right arm of the Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro, as I did once for a jump, it's the same thing. So I'm confident it will not happen when I'm at 120,000 feet, standing on my space capsule."
Still, getting his head straight wasn't helped by a multimillion-pound lawsuit filed in 2010 by another Austrian, Daniel Hogan. Hogan claimed that Red Bull, which is financing the project under the banner Red Bull Stratos, had stolen his methods. Baumgartner was forced to abandon preparations and return home, where he passed the time piloting helicopters as a distraction (when the mission's over, he hopes to become a full-time rescue pilot). The case was settled out of court this year, leaving him to get psyched-up from scratch - and his girlfriend to start worrying for him all over again. Says Baumgartner, "For sure, she does not like the idea of what I'm doing."
36,000: the height in metres at which Baumgartner will step out of the capsule and begin his free fall
Now, the mission is back on. Baumgartner is working with Joe Kittinger to minimise the known unknowns. Kittinger has held the records for highest skydive (31,333 metres) and longest free-fall jump (four minutes, 36 seconds) since 1960, and is an advisor on Stratos. "I always had the dream of flying, and the cheapest way is to become a skydiver," says Baumgartner. "So when I was 18 years old I joined the Austrian army as a military skydiver. I always looked up to Joe Kittinger and I always wanted to skydive higher and faster and break his records. I never thought that I was going to be the one that has the chance."
But it's not all wish fulfilment. As private space exploration gathers momentum, fail-safe ejection systems are increasingly important. "[Richard] Branson's already working on his space missions, and those people do not have protection, they do not wear spacesuits. Something could go wrong with the spacecraft. It has in the past: the space shuttles Columbia and Atlantis. We will contribute our data and our knowledge to make future space exploration safer." Baumgartner's body will be wired with sensors to collect information on everything from breath rate and pulse, to body temperature and angles of descent. The team hopes this will provide vital insights about how the human body behaves at such speeds, and shape the development of protective suits.
All that remains is to work out what he will say after his capsule has reached altitude and he is standing on the highest ledge in the world, with Kittinger in his earpiece telling him that everything is set and asking him if he is ready to jump. "If you've been working hard for five years and you've put yourself through fire, and you're willing to go the extra mile, and you know you're right there, and you know the whole world is watching, you've got to say something," says Baumgartner. "But I still don't know what."
For his record attempt, Zenith ambassador Felix Baumgartner will be wearing the El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronograph.