Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner has become the first human to break the sound barrier by a freefall jump from the edge of space.
Baumgartner, 43, leaped off a capsule more than 39 kilometers above the earth with his speed reaching 834 miles (about 1,342 kilometers) per hour, or 1.24 times the speed of sound, on Sunday.
He jumped from an altitude of 39,045 meters and landed in the New Mexico desert which took four minutes and 19 seconds.
“I think 20 tons have fallen from my shoulders. I prepared for this for seven years,” AFP quoted Baumgartner as saying.
The Austrian also talked about a helmet problem which almost forced him to abort the jump.
“Even on a day like this when you start so well, then there’s a little glitch. And you think you’ll have to abort, what if you’ve prepared everything and it fails on a visor problem. But I finally decided to jump. And it was the right decision,” He said.
By getting up to the jump height, which took Baumgartner more than two hours, he managed to break the record of the highest altitude for a manned balloon flight which was nearly 35 kilometers, set in 1961.
“When you’re standing there on top of the world you become so humble… The only thing is you want to come back alive… I know the whole world is all watching now and I wish you could see what I see… Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are,” Baumgartner said.
He holds some other records such as BASE jumps from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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