Baumgartner Breaks Skydive Record, Sound Barrier

Felix Baumgartner

“I’m coming home,” Felix Baumgartner radioed Sunday just before stepping off his 24-mile-high (39-kilometer-high) balloon capsule and into the history books.

He wasted no time getting there: In the process of logging the highest ever jump, Baumgartner reached unprecedented speeds of 833.9 miles (1,342 kilometers) an hour while free-falling in a pressurized suit, according to preliminary data.

Though he appeared no worse for the wear during a post-jump press conference, Baumgartner had, officials announced, broken the sound barrier during the free fall, reaching Mach 1.24. Asked what it was like to go supersonic, he said, “It’s hard to describe, because I didn’t feel it. You know, when you’re in that pressure suit, you don’t feel anything. It’s like being in a cast.”

After several postponements, the so-called Red Bull Stratos Mission to the Edge of Space had begun shortly after 2 p.m. ET, when he opened his capsule high above  Roswell, New Mexico.

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