Skydiver breaks speed record

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By Manisha Singh, Online News Editor

Forty-three-year-old Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier in a 39-kilometer skydive from the edge of space Oct. 14, setting the world record for highest jump and fastest human free-fall. He was carried into space in a capsule with a 55-story tall helium balloon. Baumgartner’s descent at about 834 mph lasted approximately nine minutes until he landed safely in the desert of New Mexico.

According to Baumgartner in an Oct. 15 USA Today article, it was both an exhilarating and frightening experience because he could              not control his body during the first half of the freefall. His pressurized suit prevented him from feeling rushing air or loud noise when breaking the sound barrier.

Baumgartner made the jump on the 65thanniversary of U.S. test pilot Chuck Yeager’s world record as the first man in a jet to break the sound barrier.