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Skydiver Breaks Record for Highest Jump

by VOA News October 14, 2012

Austrian Felix Baumgartner has become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound.

Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation said Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 1,342 kph (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 also broke a 52-year-old record for the highest parachute jump and set an altitude record for a balloon passenger.

After riding in a pressurized capsule carried aloft by a balloon filled with more than 821188 cubic meters of helium, Baumgartner jumped from more than 38 kilometers above (the southwest U.S. state of) New Mexico.

The Austrian daredevil broke the high-altitude jump record set in 1960 by American Joe Kittinger, who helped with Baumgartner's jump.

Baumgartner landed safely about 10 minutes after jumping from the capsule.

The jump was completed 65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager broke the speed barrier for the first time in the Bell X-1 airplane.

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