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Record-breaking skydive by Felix Baumgartner

In a giant leap for mankind from more than 24 miles up, 43-year old daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner, of Austria, has shattered the sound barrier while making the highest jump ever - a tumbling, death-defying plunge from a balloon to a safe landing in the New Mexico desert. In doing so, Baumgartner, who has 2500 jumps behind him hit 833.9mph - becoming the first man to reach supersonic speed without travelling in a jet or a spacecraft after hopping out of a capsule that had reached an altitude of 128100 feet above the Earth. Felix Baumgartner, Austrian extreme athlete: "I think the most exciting moment was when I was standing outside, on top of the world, just 30 seconds before I'm stepping off. The most beautiful moment was when I was standing at the landing area and Mike Todd (project life support engineer) showed up and he had a smile like a little kid. He became like my mom over all these years, because he was always dressing me up for a test, for skydivers and we became real friends and I think I became like his son, he was so happy when he saw me on the ground and alive and that was the best moment today." Baumgartner's descent lasted just over nine minutes, about half of it in a free fall of 119846 feet (36530 meters), according to Brian Utley, a jump observer from the FAI, an international group that works to determine and maintain the integrity of aviation records. He activated his parachute as he neared Earth, gently gliding into the desert about 40 miles ...
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