Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier today exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947 in an X-1 experimental jet.
Felix Baumgartner was officially clocked at a maximum speed of 833.9 miles per hour which is 1.24 times the speed of sound, otherwise known as Mach 1.24.
In addition to breaking the speed of sound, Baumgartner broke the highest manned balloon flight at 128,100 feet or 24.2 miles, the highest skydive also at 128,100 feet, and the longest free fall before deploying a parachute at 119,846 feet which lasted 4 minutes 20 seconds.
Brian Utley, and official observer of the Federation Aeronautic International, announced the official record breaking statistics at a post-jump press conference.
Baumgartner broke into a flat spin during the early part of his free fall which worried observers on the ground because the near-vacuum atmosphere provides little air resistence for Baumgartner to use to stabilize himself.
However, Baumgartner was able to stabilize himself for the remainder of the descent which also allowed him to gain enough speed to break the sound barrier.
The prior world-record for the highest jump was set by Central Florida native Col. Joseph "Joe" W. Kittinger, USAF at 102,800 feet in 1960. Joe Kittinger was part of Baumgartner's mission control team for the 2012 Red Bull Stratos Jump.
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