Experts analyzing the timing and signature of a sound captured along with video footage shot from the ground during Felix Baumgartner’s record-setting Oct. 14 freefall from 128,000 feet believe it is a sonic boom, Red Bull said Friday. “The wave form of the sonic boom has been isolated and is consistent with existing ‘sonic boom characteristics’ data,” the company said. Four different groups of observers that were present in different areas local to the jump heard the sound as Baumgartner accelerated beyond 833 mph in supersonic freefall, according to Red Bull. “Everyone all at once said, ‘did you just hear that?’ We knew exactly what it was.” The team is analyzing data in hopes of removing all doubt.
The team is now working closely with sound experts who have isolated the double boom and are applying algorithms used by NASA to determine the exact moment Baumgartner, himself, went supersonic. GPS data and other telemetry information from Baumgartner’s chest pack are being used to help verify speeds and the timing of the sound.