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Felix Baumgartner, of Austria, waves to the crowd after successfully jumping from a space capsule lifted by a helium balloon at a height of just over 128,000 feet above the Earth's surface, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Roswell, N.M.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
By Paul Geater
Monday, October 15, 2012
IT was the moment when the world held its collective breath, its eyes turned to an alien-hotspot in New Mexico . . . and its computers logged into a busy port on the Suffolk coast.
Thanks to the wonders of technology and the autocorrect function – similar to spell check – messages of support and admiration for extreme Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner ended up bearing the name Felixstowe.
The town’s profile went stratospheric as messages posted on the social network Twitter and intended for Mr Baumgartner parachuted out of cyberspace to the Suffolk coast.
Messages started to flood Felixstowe Web’s Twitter feed as millions watched the world’s first supersonic skydive.
Mr Baumgartner took off in a pressurised capsule carried by a 55-storey ultra-thin helium balloon, taking two and a half hours to reach his target height of 130,000ft or 24 miles – more than three times the height of the average cruising altitude for jetliners.
His return to the desert at Roswell – famous for the alleged alien space landing in 1947 – was quicker.
Reaching estimated speeds of 690mph, he landed ten minutes after jumping, breaking the record for the highest ever balloon ascent and breaking the sound barrier during his freefall.
Despite fears his parachute might not deploy properly as he span seemingly out of control at one stage, Mr Baumgartner landed on his feet, arms aloft in victory in the eastern New Mexico desert.
As the messages appeared on Twitter @FelixstoweWeb retweeted the comments.
“Did Felixstowe break the sound barrier,” and “Anyone else get scared when Felixstowe started spinning” were among the Tweets that appeared during the record-breaking stunt.
While others realised what was happening, one message read: “A million people rooting for Felixstowe on iPhone courtesy of auto-correct.”
The Austrian adventurer’s official Twitter feed is @FelixBaumgart.
Felixstoweweb @FelixstoweWeb - Thanks to predictive text, ‘Felixstowe’ is getting record levels of mentions. http://win.gs/SHkLsZ #stratos #livejump
Ben Reynolds @Benandthebuses - A million people rooting for Felixstowe on iPhone courtesy of auto-correct.
Will.i.am.not @will_said - Anyone else get scared when Felixstowe started spinning ? #freefall#livejump
Felixstoweweb @FelixstoweWeb - RT @amsgobbs: @richardbranson @achrisevans did Felixstowe break the sound barrier?? ,- Yeah! And we have a pier. Cool eh?
Sean Dennis @sean_dennis - What the hell is Felixstowe, and why is my ipad so eager to autocorrect
Felixstoweweb @FelixstoweWeb - Apple has a lot to answer for with it’s fancy auto correct technology#itsnotbloodyfelixstowe #stratos #livejump
Felixstoweweb @FelixstoweWeb - Maybe we should be renamed ‘Royal Felixstowe’ given the achievements of our town today #stratos #livejump
Felixstoweweb @FelixstoweWeb - Would like to thank @redbull for sponsoring our towns record breaking jump today #stratos #livejump