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Red Bull Stratos, Baumgartner Breaks Records

Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

When skydiver Felix Baumgartner stepped from the Red Bull Stratos on Sunday from 128,000 feet, he broke two records that stood for more than 50 years.  His was the highest-ever parachute jump and the highest manned balloon flight.  Baumgartner is reported to have reached Mach 1.24 during his 4:18 freefall.  While it was the fastest, it was not the longest duration freefall on record.  That record still belongs to Col. Joe Kittinger, who waited until the 4:30 mark to deploy his parachute in 1960.  Coincidentally, Baumgartner's successful jump took place exactly 65 years, to the day, after Chuck Yeager first broke the speed of sound in the rocket-powered X1.