Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun worked on various films, including Marvel’s The Avengers, War Dogs, and Sully. But his biggest challenge awaited him this weekend: On Saturday, he succeeded where daredevil Evel Knievel failed in jumping over Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in a rocket.
As he explained on Good Morning America in an interview prior to the attempt, “I met Evel Knievel as a small child and he inspired me so much when I met him. I mean, this was a man with a cape, come on! I wanted to be like him, and after 30 years of being a professional stuntman, what better way to finish out my career than to pay homage to the man that inspired me?”
He also said he didn’t care if people thought him crazy. “I’m not,” he affirmed. “All I care about is what my four children think. And I’m doing something, and the way that I’m doing it will stand the test of time, and my children will be happy and proud. And what better life lesson than to show your kids through actions that you try and do things that are nearly impossible?”
Strapped into a rocket dubbed “Evel Spirit,” Braun made the launch just before 4 p.m. local time and reached 400 mph before the parachute deployed. Knievel made the daredevil attempt on Sep. 8, 1974, and he still went down in history despite the failed effort. According to the Associated Press, Braun’s rocket was the same as Knievel’s.
“I feel like the no-name, third-string quarterback of a junior-varsity team that just won the Super Bowl,” Braun said in a statement. “My team got me there. I ran it into the end zone. We scored and won.”
Watch footage of the feat below via NBC News.