Roswell welcomes Red Bull Stratos Team

Posted at: 10/11/2012 8:05 PM
Updated at: 10/11/2012 9:40 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Felix Baumgartner
Photo: Felix Baumgartner

Austrian sky diver and base jumper Felix Baumgartner, backed by the Red Bull Stratos Project team, is hoping to break the sound barrier in free fall, jumping from a stratospheric balloon 120,000 feet in the air.

An original plan to jump on October 9 was postponed after gusty winds made the mission unsafe, so the team is in Roswell longer than originally expected.

People in Roswell have gotten to know the crews over the past year as they’ve been doing test jumps, and have enjoyed the experience.

Larry Connolly met Baumgartner and some of the Stratos team members while getting his morning coffee.

“I’ve met pretty much the whole crew and they are the nicest people, so professional,” Connolly says. “People keep saying Felix is a daredevil, and he is, but the crew they have backing him up is just incredible too.”

Barista Jessica Thatcher says he’s come in for coffee and Baumgartner has been gracious and friendly.

“People ask for autographs and he’s just really nice about it and he’s not bothered,” Thatcher said. “He’s just a really sweet guy.”

Baumgartner’s fans are now worldwide.

He now has more than 200,000 fans on Facebook, and the hashtag #fearlessfelix sped its way across Twitter around the time of the first attempted launch. People are also logging on to to watch broadcasts from the team of behind the scenes moments and information on the mission.

Local restaurants have put up signs wishing Baumgartner and the Red Bull team well. People say they’ve added positive energy to the community and have been nothing but gracious.

“They care about us, they know our names, they ask how we’re doing,” Thatcher said. “They’re just a great team of people and so we’re really excited and just want to say, good luck Felix, we’re rooting for ya.”