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Daredevil's record leap captured in California Science Center exhibit

October 16, 2013|By W.J. Hennigan

An exhibit documenting last year’s record-setting 24 mile free-fall by daredevil Felix Baumgartner is on display at the California Science Center.

Visitors to the Exposition Park museum can see the equipment used in the mission, including Baumgartner’s space suit and the 3,200-pound capsule that took him to 127,852 feet above the New Mexico desert before his famed leap.

More than 8 million computers and other digital devices tuned in to YouTube to watch Baumgartner become the first free-falling human to crack the sound barrier.

PHOTOS: Daredevil breaks world record with highest fall

Watch the jump in the new point-of-view video, posted above, released over the weekend.

Baumgartner's jump was funded by energy drink company Red Bull, which paid millions of dollars to Southern California aerospace companies to pull off the stunt, but wouldn't say exactly how much. The event was named Red Bull Stratos.

The exhibit opened Friday at the Science Center and will run until mid-January.

On Thursday, Stratos team members will discuss their roles in the mission at the center. The discussion will be followed by a screening of a new documentary of the event.

Those hoping to attend will need to RSVP by emailing to

The jump was an endeavor, five years in the making, to break a free-fall world record of 102,800 feet, or 19 miles, set by Air Force test pilot Joe Kittinger in 1960.

After reaching the desired altitude in a capsule carried by a massive balloon, Baumgartner broke the record. At his top speed, he reached 843.6 mph, or 1.25 times the speed of sound.

Hi-res panorama: Inside Endeavour's flight deck

The exhibit joins Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. Museum officials estimate almost 2.7 million people will see the shuttle in its inaugural year — a record-setting figure that surpasses even the estimate they readjusted after the first rush.

Following its stop in Los Angeles, the touring exhibit will visit the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, and will settle into its permanent home at the Smithsonian Institution.


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