Talk about a high dive. And a high to last the rest of his life.
Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian daredevil who made history last Sunday with a successful supersonic leap from 24 miles up, gave his first interview about the experience during a sit-down Friday on CBS This Morning.
And if there's one thing the man nicknamed Fearless Felix will tell you, the feeling of fear was ever-present as he rode a 55-story balloon capsule up into the highest reaches of the stratosphere while wearing a pressure suit to prevent his blood from boiling.
"You would not be human if you would not have fear up there," the 43-year-old Baumgartner told the morning show. "If something goes wrong, you're dead in 15 seconds."
When asked what it was like when the capsule door opened and he looked down at the earth before becoming the first man to ever break the sound barrier, the skydiver remarked on the uniqueness of his situation.
"It is overwhelming," he said. "I mean, that view, and also the fact that when you're standing there, there's not a single person on the whole planet who have experienced this moment. It's unique."
After telling mission control "I'm going home now," Baumgartner took his bunny hop into the record books, falling from 128,000 feet in the air and reaching speeds of 834 mph, or Mach 1.24. While it's a feat never before achieved by any human, he almost didn't survive after falling into a dizzying tumble from which he had to recover.
"It starts ramping up, really violent, and then I knew, now I have to come up with something and I had to find a solution. I only had 40 seconds, because then it's all over," Baumgartner added.
But the former paratrooper did manage to regain control during his descent, although he notes he never really felt the big boom that accompanies breaking the sound barrier.
"In the beginning, because the air is so thin, you don't have that noise, so you have almost no sensation of speed. You know you're fast, but you don't feel it," Baumgartner explained.
It gives a whole new meaning to the word "Godspeed," doesn't it?