First skydiver to break the speed of sound: Felix Baumgartner sets world record (VIDEO)
ROSWELL, N.M., USA -- Felix Baumgartner, 43, known to his fans as Fearless Felix, jumped from a capsule dangling more than 120,000 feet above the Earth and safely landed in New Mexico, after he broke the record for highest skydive and the sound barrier,
setting the world record for the First skydiver to break the speed of sound,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner landed gracefully on Earth after a 24-mile jump from the stratosphere in a daring, dramatic feat that made him the first skydiver to fall faster than the speed of sound. (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the most tandem parachute jumps in 24 hours at the same location was 130 organized by Khalsa Aid and Skydive Hibaldstow (both UK) at Hibaldstow Airfield in Hibaldstow, Lincolnshire UK.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the highest speed ever reached in a speed skydiving competition: 526.93 km/h (327.41 mph), by Christian Labhart (Switzerland) at Utti, Finland at the World Cup.
Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,100 feet, or roughly 24 miles, above Earth. He lifted his arms in victory, sending off loud cheers from jubilant onlookers and friends inside the mission's control center in Roswell, N.M.
"When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about of breaking records anymore, you do not think of about gaining scientific date. The only thing you want is to come back alive," he said after the jump.
Brian Utley, a jump observer from the International Federation of Sports Aviation, said preliminary figures show Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph.
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," he told reporters.
"Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are," he said.
Baumgartner's team included Joe Kittinger, who first attempted to break the sound barrier from 19.5 miles up in 1960, reaching speeds of 614 mph. With Kittinger inside mission control, the two men could be heard going over technical details during the ascension.
Baumgartner has said he plans to settle down with his girlfriend and fly helicopters on mountain rescue and firefighting missions in the U.S. and Austria.