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Austrian Felix Baumgartner sets skydiving record
 
Felix Baumgartner on his way to his space capsule during a test flight on March 15.
Felix Baumgartner on his way to his space capsule during a test flight on March 15.
Joerg Mitter/Red Bull via Getty Images

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner, 43, broke some big world records on Sunday — he made the highest jump, from 24 miles above sea level, and notched the fastest descent speed, 833.9 miles per hour, or Mach 1.24. Baumgartner ascended into lower orbit in a capsule attached to a helium balloon, then made his jump in a special space suit, spinning dangerously out of control in the upper atmosphere before gaining control when the air grew thicker and parachuting the final mile to earth. He is the first man to break the sound barrier in free fall, and his jump will help scientists develop escape techniques for astronauts or even space tourists. "Trust me, when you stand up there on top of the world, you become so humble," Baumgartner said after landing. "It's not about breaking records any more. It's not about getting scientific data. It's all about coming home."

 

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