Austrian daredevil, 43 year old Felix Baumgartner, dropped into the history books as he became the first man to break the sound barrier without mechanical help after a 24-mile skydive from the edge of space. A giant helium balloon with Baumgartner in a capsule beneath it floated to a height of more than 128,000ft and after a salute to the millions watching around the world, Baumgartner jumped from the capsule and plummeted toward earth, reaching a speed of 833mph – or Mach 1.24 – faster than the speed of sound! His remarkable feat came exactly 65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier in an airplane, and it was one of three world records Baumgartner set with his jump. He also smashed the records for the highest manned balloon flight and the highest skydive. Baumgartner’s family and friends, including his parents, Ava and Felix, and girlfriend, Nicole Oetl, who had travelled to New Mexico watch, cheered and celebrated as it became clear he was safe. Baumgartner looked almost nonchalant as he hit the ground running, and once his parachute had fallen behind him, he dropped to his knees and raised his arms in celebration!
| Oct. 15, 2012 at 12:07 a.m.