Felix Baumgartner Getting Ready to Try a 22-Mile Fall
Felix Baumgartner, the professional daredevil, jumped from a balloon more than 24 miles above the Earth on Sunday, and landed safely on his feet.
A helium-filled balloon, the largest ever used for a manned flight, lifted the capsule into the air. More Photos »
Just minutes earlier, Mr. Baumgartner stood on the edge of his capsule completing a final checklist before jumping into a near vacuum at above 127,000 feet, or more than 24 miles. He landed in the eastern New Mexico desert, and lifted his arms in victory. His support team and family cheered.
Mr. Baumgartner took 2 hours 21 minutes to reach the height, lifting off in an enormous helium balloon that smoothly carried him through the critical first 4,000 feet — called the Dead Zone because it would be impossible to parachute to safety.
From the sky above the New Mexico desert he had hoped to make the highest jump in historyand become the first sky diver to break the speed of sound. Before the jump, Mr. Baumgartner went through a checklist with help from Joe Kittinger, 84, the retired Air Force colonel who in 1960 jumped from 102,800 feet, setting records that remained more than half a century later — and that Mr. Baumgartner was hoping to break.