Not only does energy drink Red Bull claim to give you wings, if you play your cards right, they will strap 'em on you, haul you to the edge of space, and kick you out of the capsule!
I'm just sorry Yuri Gagarin isn't around to see it. --Joseph Kittinger is. He's also a prime advisor for today's effort and he's CapCom in Mission Control for today's drop. His trip down in 1960 was from 102,800 feet: over 19 miles, all of it down.
Felix Baumgartner, after taking a balloon to the edge of space (setting the new record), stepping out, breaking the sound barrier (new record for skyding, spinning down, stabilizing, opening the 'chute and preparing to steer it over to the landing area: "I need directions!" So now you know what it takes to get a man to ask for directions.
(Poor Pyotr Dolgov, who would've been the second-place holder, cracked his helmet in 1962, exiting the gondola at 93,970 feet in as hostile an environment as you can enter. The freefall distance record holder, Yevgeni Nikolayevich Andreyev, left the same vehicle about 10,000 feet earlier on the same trip. He passed away in 2000, one of the few members of a very exclusive club. Of the Vostok cosmonauts, who all had to bail out of a re-entering space capsule around 23,000 feet, only Valery Bykovsky and Valentina Tereshkova are left.)