Man breaks speed of sound…without a vehicle. For the first time in history.
What makes it even cooler is this breaks a record that has stood for over fifty years—and the bloke who held that record was on Baumgartner’s crew.
The previous highest, farthest, and longest freefall was made by Col Kittinger, who leapt from a helium envelope in 1960. His altitude was 102,800ft (31.3km). (His mark for the longest freefall remains intact; he fell for more than four and a half minutes before deploying his chute.)
Col Kittinger, now an octogenarian, has been an integral part of Baumgartner's team, and has provided the Austrian with advice and encouragement whenever he has doubted his ability to complete such a daring venture.