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Skydiver Breaks Sound Barrier!

October 15th, 2012

Felix Baumgartner jumping from the edge of space. Screen grab from Live YouTube broadcast.

Wow! Skydiver Felix Baumgartner became the first person ever to break the sound barrier — with just his body!

He went faster than sound travels in the air, which depends on a few factors, but is really fast!

There was only a space suit protecting him yesterday as he fell toward the Earth at 833.9 miles per hour (1,342 kilometers per hour)!

Estimates are that he broke the sound barrier after 690 miles per hour (1,110 km/hr) but all the data is still being verified.

He skydived out of a capsule teetering at the edge of space, 24 miles or 128,000 feet up (34,045 meters).

That’s also a new world record for jumping from the highest place ever.

Did you see it? It was incredible (and scary) to watch!

Here’s a recap video:

And to see a great shortened version of how it looked live, you can click here to be taken to the BBC’s website .

Baumgartner was also trying to break the record for the longest freefall (the time from when you jump to when you pull the parachute), but it seems he missed that by just 16 seconds. Baumgartner fell for 4 minutes and 20 seconds. His 84 year old coach for this mission, Joe Kittinger, did a similar jump 52 years ago, and holds the record. He was in a freefall for 4 minutes and 36 seconds.

At a press conference afterward, Baumgartner summed up his feelings about the moment he jumped, “When I was standing there on top of the world you become so humble. You do not think about breaking records anymore. You do not think about gaining scientific data. The only thing you want … is you want to come back alive.”

His nickname is “Fearless Felix” and he made it look easy, but it was very complicated and incredibly dangerous.

It took him over 2 hours to get up in his huge 40-acre helium balloon launching from New Mexico, USA. And it took him just 9 minutes to get down.

At one point on the way down Baumgartner went into a dangerous, uncontrolled spin, but because of all his training and experience he managed to get it under control.

He landed on his feet. And then dropped to his knees in happiness and exhaustion.

Congratulations to Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team!

And, of course, what would this all be without a Lego stop-motion video re-enactment couresty of the Vienna Model Maker Fair! Enjoy!

To see HTE’s original story on Felix Baumgartner’s jump, click here . Did you see the jump? What did you think?

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