Free Falling 24 Miles? How Fast is That? World Record Broken [VIDEO]
An Austrian daredevil leapt into the stratosphere from a balloon near the edge of space 24 miles above Earth on Sunday and safely landed, setting a record for the highest skydive and breaking the sound barrier in the process.
Cheers broke out as Felix Baumgartner, 43, jumped from a skateboard- sized shelf outside the 11-by-8-foot fiberglass and acrylic capsule that was carried higher than 12 8,000 feet by an enormous balloon.
Baumgartner's body pierced the atmosphere at 833.9 miles per hour and clinched one of his goals: to become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. What do you suppose that sounded like in a space suit?
Baumgartner landed safely on the ground and raised his arms in a victory salute just 10 minutes after he stepped into the air.
Baumgartner's ascent into the stratosphere took about 2-1/2 hours.
The feat was underwritten by Red Bull and employed a team of 70 scientists and engineers to make sure the mission was a success.