Skydiver Breaks Speed Of Sound

ROSWELL, N.M. (October 14, 2012)--Felix Baumgartner became the first skydiver to break the speed of sound Sunday in a daring free fall from roughly 24 miles above the Earth.

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation, said Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 miles per hour during his jump Sunday over the New Mexico desert, which amounts to Mach 1.24, faster than the speed of sound.

No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.

Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,097 feet.

He lifted his arms in victory, sending off loud cheers from jubilant onlookers and friends.

He took off in a pressurized capsule carried by a 55-story ultra-thin helium balloon and jumped from more than three times the height of the average cruising altitude for jetliners.

Baumgartner was expected to hit a speed of 690 miles per hour before activating his parachute about 5,000 above the ground in southeastern New Mexico, but he exceeded that speed by more than 140 miles per hour.