After two failed attempts foiled by weather for his space jump, “Fearless” Felix Baumgartner Sunday broke a record in a 23-mile free fall jump from the edge of space, watched by millions on the Red Bull Stratos live stream video.
Baumgartner, 43, lifted off around 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time (11:30 a.m. EDT) in a bid to make the free-fall jump from the edge of space at 120,000 feet in the air, wearing nothing but a space suit and helmet. Two and half hours later, he broke the record of the highest altitude ever jumped by man and may have breached the sound barrier before landing in New Mexico. The mission, called Red Bull Stratos, was livestreamed by Red Bull at the Mission to the Edge of Space landing page, or embedded below.
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Sunday's jump came after two failed attempts from wind. The Monday and Tuesday jumps were canceled after officials said winds on the ground cannot exceed three miles per hour.
"I want to break the speed of sound, no matter what it takes," Baumgartner said in an advance statement. "As long as we have a spare balloon and more launch days, I'm good."
Sunday marks the 65th anniversary of U.S. test pilot Chuck Yeager becoming who was the first man to break the sound barrier aboard an airplane. Baumgartner will do it wearing just a space suit. His space jump will be the world's highest free-fall, surpassing a 52-year-old record set by U.S. Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger in 1960 at 102,800 feet. Mentored by Kittinger, Baumgartner’s other goal is to become the first person to break the speed of sound without the protection of an aircraft.
"I practiced this for so many years, and now, we are almost there, so this is my biggest dream," he said.
This isn’t “Fearless Felix's” first extreme jump; Baumgartner set the record for the highest BASE jump from a building in 1999 at 1,479 feet off the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as the lowest BASE jump the same year off the Christ Statue in Rio de Janeiro. Then, in 2003, he became the first to cross the English Channel by skydiving across the waterway. In 2007, Baumgartner jumped into the "Seating of the Spirits" in Oman, the second biggest cave in the world, as well as the world's tallest building, Taipei's 101 Tower, at 1,669.95 feet.
"I'm not nuts," Baumgartner told CNN in 2010. "You know, our records are meant to be broken, and I'm a very competitive person. I like the challenge."