Skydiver lands safely after jumping from 24 miles above Earth in bid to break sound barrier

Skydiver lands safely after jumping from 24 miles above Earth in bid to break sound barrier

October 14th, 2012 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Felix Baumgartner

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

ROSWELL, N.M. - Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner has landed on Earth after a jump from the stratosphere in what could be the world's first supersonic skydive.

Baumgartner landed in eastern New Mexico desert minutes after jumping from 28,000 feet, or 24 miles.

He lifted his arms in victory shortly after landing.

He took off in a pressurized capsule carried by a 55-story ultra-thin helium balloon. He jumped from more than three times the height of the average cruising altitude for jetliners.

Baumgartner was expected to hit a speed of 690 mph before activating his parachute about 5,000 above the ground in southeastern New Mexico.