Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner made history yesterday over New Mexico


He jumped from the highest-ever altitude and became the first skydiver to break the sound barrier, which is about 690 miles per hour at that height. For what was called the Red Bull Stratos mission, Baumgartner jumped in a special pressure suit, stepping off from a capsule that had been lifted up by a 55-story, helium-filled balloon to more than 24 miles above the New Mexico desert — some three times the altitude of where planes usually fly — and landed some nine minutes later. In between, he spent about four minutes and 20 seconds in freefall before activating his parachute, reaching a maximum speed of 833 miles per hour to break the sound barrier by a significant margin.The 43-year-old Baumgartner broke the record for highest jump of 102,800 feet, which had been set in 1960 by then-Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, who was an adviser on Baumgartner’s mission.