Felix Baumgartner: Inside The Mind of a Daredevil

Why thrill seekers take risks and why we watch.
3:00 | 10/15/12

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Transcript for Felix Baumgartner: Inside The Mind of a Daredevil
Finally tonight, it is still a brave new world out there for the 21st century pioneer. Even though we've seen men and women take on the depths of the oceans and take on the summits and now the edge of space. So what is this new frontier left to conquer? Abc's david wright looks beyond the horizon. Reporter: We call them daredevils because they're literally "daring the devil." Performing a suicidal stunt and getting away with it. In this case, a stunt seen before only in a "star trek" movie. Hollywood fantasy, made real. No wonder we're all transfixed. Harry houdini, evel knievel, david blaine, but what separates daredevils from mere stunt men may be the backdrop. The tightrope walker perched other niagara falls was as compelling in 2012 as 1876 or a man-made wonder, a bridge or a building or a pair of buildings. Philippe petit, the "man on a wire," whose flight of fancy is all the more poignant because that wonder is gone. Like petit, felix baumgartner spent years planning the jump just as others are planning what may be the next great frontier, a journey to the center of the earth, just vern for real to study the origins of life. Less than a century ago pilots were daredevils. Charles lindbergh and amelia earhart pushing boundaries that now we take for granted. Without neal armstrong, there'd be no felix baumgartner. That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Reporter: Of course, baumgartner's leap didn't defy gravity. He submitted to gravity, all the way down. David wright, abc news, los angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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