Regional
1:12 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Official: Skydiver Breaks Speed Of Sound In New Mexico

Officials say that Felix Baumgartner has become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound.

At a news conference, Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation said Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph during his jump Sunday over the New Mexico desert.

That amounts to Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound. No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.

Baumgartner says that traveling faster than sound is "hard to describe because you don't feel it." With no reference points, "you don't know how fast you travel."

Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,100 feet, or roughly 24 miles, above Earth.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Earlier update:

Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner has landed on Earth after a jump from the stratosphere in what could be the world's first supersonic skydive.  Baumgartner landed in eastern New Mexico desert minutes after jumping from 28,000 feet, or 24 miles.

He lifted his arms in victory shortly after landing. 

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

Baumgartner was expected to hit a speed of 690 mph before activating his parachute about 5,000 above the ground in southeastern New Mexico.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.