Felix Baumgartner Becomes the First Skydiver to Break the Speed of Sound
UPDATE: (Associated Press) "Officials say that Felix Baumgartner has become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound.
At a news conference, Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation, says Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph (1,342 kph) during his jump Sunday over the New Mexico desert.
That amounts to Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound. No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.
Baumgartner says that traveling faster than sound is "hard to describe because you don't feel it." With no reference points, "you don't know how fast you travel."
Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,097 feet (39,044 meters), or roughly 24 miles (38.6 kilometers), above Earth."
Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner landed safely on Earth after jumping from the stratosphere. It took about two and a half hours for him to ascend 24 miles above the Earth’s surface. His descent took about nine minutes.
High winds delayed the attempts last week, but today he took the marvelous jump as millions watched the intense moments on a live stream. In a tiny capsule lifted up by an enormous balloon, the Austrian skydiver’s last words before leaping out were, “I’m going home now.”
He broke the world records for fastest free fall, highest free fall and highest manned balloon flight. It is still to be determined whether Baumgartner met his goal of breaking the speed of sound.
The Red Bull Stratos project team included Joe Kittinger, who first attempted to break the sound barrier in 1960. Kittinger was inside mission control going over technical details and directing Baumgartner throughout the mission. Right before the jump, he reassured Baumgartner, “Our guardian angel will take care of you.”
His family cheered in the mission control room as he landed in the eastern New Mexico desert. Research from the project could help with future space exploration travel.
Check out some of the incredible moments from his historic jump below!