Austrian skydiver 'breaks speed of sound' in record space jump

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 04:20 hrs

A 43-year-old Austrian has become the first man to break the sound barrier in a record-shattering freefall jump from the edge of space.

Felix Baumgartner rose in a purpose-built capsule beneath a giant helium balloon to a height of more than 128,000ft, nearly four times the height of a cruising passenger airliner.

The former military parachutist then jumped from the capsule and plummeted toward earth, reaching a speed of 833mph, or Mach 1.24, faster than the speed of sound, the Telegraph reports.

As he fell to Earth, Baumgartner complained that his visor was steaming up before he pulled his parachute cord.

After two or three minutes he appeared against the cloudless blue sky before steering himself to safety, landing on a patch of New Mexico scrubland, just nine minutes after jumping.

His remarkable feat came exactly 65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier in an aeroplane.

According to the report, Baumgartner also smashed the records for the highest manned balloon flight and the highest skydive. (ANI)

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