An Austrian daredevil plummeted into the record books today (Oct. 14), breaking the mark for highest-ever skydive after leaping from a balloon more than 24 miles above Earth's surface. Add one more feat: Going supersonic.
Felix Baumgartner stepped into the void nearly 128,000 feet (39,000 meters) above southeastern New Mexico Sunday at just after 12 p.m. MT (2 p.m. ET, 1800 GMT), then landed safely on the desert floor about 20 minutes later. His harrowing plunge shattered the skydiving altitude record, which had stood for more than 50 years. The 43 year old daredevil become the first person to break the sound barrier, and his maximum speed was 833 miles per hour (the sound barrier is about 690 mph). All this happened on what was also the 65th anniversary of the first supersonic airplane flight, which was piloted by American Chuck Yeager in 1947 aboard the Bell X-1 rocket plane.