Skydiver lands safely after space jump
Felix Baumgartner jumped from 120K feet
Last Updated: 217 days ago
Skydiver Felix Baumgartner landed safely on the ground Sunday after a record-shattering free fall from the edge of space.
"He made it -- tears of joy from Mission Control," the team said in a live feed.
Baumgartner left the capsule attached to a huge helium balloon at 128,000 feet -- 24 miles up.
With nothing but a space suit, helmet and parachute, Baumgartner was the first person to break the sound barrier without the protection of a vehicle.
The thin air at that height provides so little resistance that after just 40 seconds, he was estimated to have been free falling faster than 690 miles per hour.
"They're going up just great," said a controller on the ground, on a video feed broadcast live. "Right on track."
After a weather delay of several hours on Sunday morning, the balloon rose from its launch site at 9:30a.m. MT (11:30 a.m. ET), with Baumgartner in a capsule hanging beneath it.
He almost made an attempt last Tuesday from his launch site in Roswell, New Mexico. But as he was waiting in his capsule for the giant helium balloon to finish inflating, a gust of wind twisted the balloon like a spinnaker, and ruined it.
Baumgartner spent two or three hours on the ascent in a capsule hanging from the helium balloon. Then opened the hatch, climbed out, jumped off the step with a bunny hop, and formed a crouched "delta" position to maximize his acceleration.
He fell 115,000 feet in less than five minutes, then deployed a parachute for the final 5,000 feet to earth..
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