GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner has suddenly become a household name thanks to his astonishing feat of dropping from the edge of space to Earth in 9 minutes in only a spacesuit, breaking the speed of sound in the process. His jump from 24 miles (38.4 km) up, Sunday 14 October, came 65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in an airplane. At one point Baumgartner was clocked at 833.9 mph, 1.24 Mach. He free fell for over four minutes before opening his parachute, which brought him safely down to New Mexico.
After the jump he told reporters that “I was thinking about coming back alive. You do not want to die in front of your parents and all these people …”