After days of delays, Felix Baumgartner finally became the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound.
Baumgartner, 43, reached a maximum velocity of 833.8 mph after he jumped out of a balloon 128,100ft (24 miles; 39km) above New Mexico.
The Austrian took more than two hours to get up to the jump altitude, but had already broken one record before he even leapt -- the previous highest altitude for a manned balloon flight was 113,740 feet, set in 1961.
Having also broken the record for the highest freefall ever, it took just under 10 minutes for him to descend. The Austrian daredevil deployed a parachute with just a few thousand feet until he would land.
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Once down, Baumgartner fell to his knees and raised his fists in triumph while Helicopter recovery teams arrived just moments later.
"Let me tell you -- when I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble. You don't think about breaking records anymore, you don't think about gaining scientific data -- the only thing that you want is to come back alive," he said afterwards at a media conference.
According to the professional base jumper, he flew into some trouble shortly after exiting the capsule. Reports indicate that he was supposed to get himself into a delta position -- head down, arms swept back -- as soon as possible after leaving his capsule. But the video showed him tumbling over and over.
"It felt like a flat spin," Baumgartner said. "I had a lot of pressure in my head, but I felt I could regain control so we could go after the sound barrier."
“Fearless Felix,” as he is known as, made the highly anticipated jump in a 28-pound high-tech suit built by Worcester-based David Clark Co. A design four years in the making, it protected him from low air pressure and temperatures of 70 degrees below freezing, conditions which could have caused his blood to boil.
“The primary function is to keep him alive,” Clark vice president Daniel Barry told the Herald last week.
But despite the state-of-the-art technology that protected Baumgartner throughout his jump, the Red Bull sponsored jumper was hear before and during the jump complaining that , his helmet’s visor fogged up, adding that at one point, “It looked like a mission abort.”
But after landing safely in Roswell, New Mexico, Baumgartner received many congratulations, including one from Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
"Austria is proud of your accomplishment," he wrote on his Facebook page.
The Red Bull Stratos mission was the second attempt for the skydiver after an initial bid Tuesday was aborted at the last minute due to winds.
After Sunday's leap, he recalled the emotions sweeping through his body when he stepped out of the capsule high above Earth.
"When you're standing there on top of the world you become so humble ... The only thing is you want to come back alive," he told reporters in Roswell, where the launch mission was based.
His jump coincided with the 65th anniversary of American pilot Chuck Yeager breaking the speed of sound.