As the sun rises, workers prepare at the launch site, ahead of an attempt by Felix Baumgartner to break the speed of sound with his body by jumping from a space capsule lifted by a helium balloon in Roswell, New Mexico. AP/Ross D Franklin
Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian parachutist who broke the sound barrier by jumping to earth from the stratosphere said in an interview published on Sunday he backed the idea of a dictatorship, though a moderate one.
He told Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung that such a dictatorship should be "led by experienced personalities coming from the private (sector of the) economy" to solve present social and economic problems.
Baumgartner, 43, leapt out of a capsule on the edge of space and into the word's headlines, on October 14. Nine days later he told United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon he was "officially retired from the daredevil business now."
His free fall descent landed him in New Mexico, not far from California, where another tough guy, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was also born in Austria, was a two-term governor.
Schwarzenegger's experience, said Baumgartner, who did not reveal whether the thought came to him during the four minutes and 20 seconds of his descent, showed "you can't do anything in a democracy."
But unlike Schwarzenegger, he insisted he "didn't want to get involved in politics."
Baumgartner reached a top speed of 833.9 miles (1,342 kilometres) an hour, or 1.24 times the speed of sound, according to the organisers of the fall.