Month: October 2012

To Earth, from Space – Felix Baumgartner

October 22, 2012

On Sunday, October 14th, the 43-year-old leapt from a capsule more than 39 kilometers above the Earth, reaching a top speed of 1,342 kilometers per hour, that had taken more than two hours to get up to the jump altitude, and made him become the first man to break the sound barrier in a record-shattering freefall jump.

Millions of users shared in the wonder of Felix Baumgartner’s 24-mile skydive from the stratosphere on social networks. The Internet’s activity went hand in hand almost with Baumgartner’s jump, a bulk of tweets were made on his way to the top, and in that 4 minute jump, people almost silenced , and then saw a peak again when he was on ground.

According to YouTube, more than eight million people watched the livestream of Baumgartner’s jump on Red Bull’s YouTube channel which now held the record for “creating a livestream with the most concurrent views ever on YouTube”. Red Bull Stratos gave each one of its viewers a sense of being at the edge of space.

For this Buzz-Report we took a closer look at the user reactions on social networks and micro-blogging sites relating to Felix Baumgartner skydive. The following analysis was created through a sample of 2960 mentions out of the total of 29,653 captured posts. As depicted with the graph below, the sentiment remained relatively neutral, and then had its highest positive sentiment right after takeoff.

The Twitter feed was overwhelmed with mentions of #Felix and #stratos in the Middle East. Moreover, Felix has generated 200K+ followers on Twitter on that day, allowing thousands of fans to re-tweet his remarks. The mention with the most re-tweet generated hit almost 50K.

MBC Action was the only TV Channel in the Middle East and North Africa region (and one of 4 channels in the world) to have been granted the rights for a live broadcast of this event. They had a live update on their twitter page. However, about 30% of the comments were in regards to the commentator of the event, users thought she was very aggravating and ruined their viewing experience “If #Felix was listening to @mbcactiontweets presenters he’d have committed suicide rather than making history. #FAIL”,while others showed excitement and pride for having an Arabic channel cover an event in history, as well as a  world record.

A lot of contradictions were made. People had different religious beliefs about the jump, many felt it was suspicious because they believe that it’s not possible for a human being to jump from such a high altitude, while others compared it to Prophet Mohammad’s ‘Maraj’ divine miracle. However, Ahmed Al Shugairy, an Islamic activist had one of the most prominent retweets on  his twitter page when he asked people not to compare Felix’s space jump to the Islamic Prophet Mohammed’s ‘Maraj’,  which acquired almost 40% of the Arabs to discuss this issue on the micro blogging site.

The most trending comments were jokes that were made by Middle Easterns, i.e. Saudi’s came up with “What if Felix was Saudi?” and people started stating jokes such as, “if he was Saudi, his mom would have sent food with him just in case he feels hungry.”In addition, a Lebanese talk show host, Zaven Kouyoumdjian also tweeted: “good luck @FelixBaumgart hope you’ll break your record, if not you already scored Lebanon’s best joke of the day.”  However, many other users have showed their support and enthusiasm to this historical event.

Some interesting key facts and Stats:

  • Fastest free-fall: Maximum vertical velocity without a drogue chute (1342.8kmph / 833.9mph)
  • Highest jump (128,100ft)
  • Longest free-fall without a drogue chute (4 mins 20 seconds)
  • First human to break the sound barrier outside of an aircraft
  • Twitter confirmed that on Sunday,2million tweets were sent about Felix Baumgartner, and a total of 3 million tweets were sent about the jump
  • Overhalf the worldwide trending topics on Twitter were related to the event. The top 3 hashtags were #livejump (500,000 mentions), #spacejump (275,000 mentions) and #stratos (125,000 mentions)
  • Red Bull Stratos’ official Twitter account gained 103,129 followers during the event
  • In less than 40 minutes, a photo on Facebook of Baumgartner falling to his knees when he landed received29,000 shares and generated over 216,000 Likes and 10,000 comments

In conclusion, the Red Bull and Red Bull Stratos team broke the speed of sound and not only made it into history, but has also proven medical and scientific advancements for the future. Do you think there will be another individual who will be able to break this record?