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The Documentary

Space Dive

Space Dive

Watch 'Space Dive' on National Geographic Channel. Check your local listings broadcast times.

A television special takes a look inside the vision of an elite team, extreme physical challenges, and what it means to be the only human to experience supersonic freefall - 'Space Dive'.

The BBC together with National Geographic and Red Bull Media House present exclusive, all-access coverage of the Red Bull Stratos project. This feature-length documentary 'Space Dive' reveals how Felix Baumgartner and his special team of scientists and engineers broke the world record for a freefall jump from 128,100 feet / 39,045 meters.

The National Geographic Channel and BBC detailed every moment of the mission with more than 20 cameras. The footage includes exclusive behind-the-scenes access following Felix's 5 year transition from BASE jumper to near-space explorer.

National Geographic Executive Producer Richard Wells offered his perspective on the making of 'Space Dive', a co-production between BBC, National Geographic Channel and Red Bull Media House.


1. What was unusual about the way this film was shot and produced?

"The coverage on this film was extraordinary. The sheer volume of material generated by the unique access the BBC production team had to the project proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of the film. With so many cameras covering the emotionally charged drama for years, the variety of frame rates and formats created a significant post production dilemma. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the BBC team, they were able to find a way through the many gigabytes of data to craft a compelling story."

2. You have roughly 5 years worth of material to work through and edit. How does this film compare to other long term projects?

"I've never worked on a project that spanned so much time. A year or two maybe but never five. Consequently I'd have to say that STRATOS is w/out comparison. The data collected was enormous. Given the very short turn-around time the BBC team had to produce 2 versions of a 2 hour program, their task was herculean and the effort required was heroic."

3. When you first heard of Felix Baumgartner's attempt, what part of the story fascinated you most / did you most want to tell?

"Having worked on several 'space' projects w/NASA over the years, I was drawn to the technical challenge of getting a man safely to the altitude proposed and providing him w/ the means to survive the extreme conditions he'd encounter on the way back. So initially, the 'science and technology' elements of the story peaked my interest. These topics are 'on brand' for NGC. However, as the 'science and technology' unfolded it became apparent that it wouldn't be the 'hardware' that hooked you, it was the human drama that developed around creating the 'technology' that would provide an emotional component that few 'sci/tech' stories contain. The exceptional access the BBC had made it possible to capture that drama. Given the amount of material, fortunately we had 2 hours to tell the important behind-the-scenes story of Stratos."

4. The BBC and National Geographic Channel are well-known for their excellent work in documenting innovation and exploration. What aspect of the achievements of the Red Bull Stratos project do you think will come through in your film?

"I think few people understand what it really takes to do what sounds like straight forward objective: Go up to 128,000 feet and jump out. For anyone who watches SPACE DIVE that lack of knowledge will certainly be dispelled. Presenting the reality behind the Stratos project makes the film inspirational. The level of dedication and commitment exhibited by all involved speaks to what's required to innovate against tradition in any endeavor…to explore new ground on any frontier." 

5. Which of the mission team members will the viewer walk away knowing best? Aside from Felix, are there any others who leave the consumer wanting to know more?

"I think Joe Kittinger will have a new following and Art will no doubt attract interest."