Felix reached 1 137km/h - official

2012-10-14 22:14

Los Angeles - Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier during his jump from the edge of space on Sunday, but he did not set a new record for the longest freefall, a mission spokesperson told AFP.

The 43-year-old Austrian achieved the fastest ever freefall speed at 1 137 km/h during the 4 minutes and 19 seconds of descent from an altitude of 39km, said spokesperson Sarah Anderson.

He was bidding to break records set over 50 years ago by Joseph Kittinger, now a retired US Air Force colonel who made a freefall jump from 31 333m in 1960. Kittinger was part of Baumgartner's backup team.

Citing preliminary figures, she said the whole jump lasted nine minutes and three seconds, including 4 minutes and 44 seconds after he deployed his parachute to float down to earth in the New Mexico desert.

Baumgartner had hoped to be in freefall for more than five minutes before opening his chute, and had also expected to jump from a lower altitude.

The reason for the shorter than expected freefall was not immediately clear, although live commentary during the unprecedented leap suggested he opened his parachute at an altitude above the 1 500m level announced in advance.

  • AlexWallerSA - 2012-10-15 01:23

    Tells a bad joke about being in a capsule 39kms above earth. "Oh, you had to have been there."

      hamish.drake1 - 2012-10-15 09:55

      Clearly the "thumbs downns" didn't get the joke

  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-10-15 06:45

    Congratulations to Felix and team for a brilliantly executed achievement. Watched it all live - which the Verkrampte government didn't allow me to do back in July 1969! This shows once again that going up takes time; two+ hours going up, nine minutes coming down. The Trimix divers who discovered coelacanths off Sodwana go down for only 10 minutes and decompress coming up for two hours!

      john.ferreira.1213 - 2012-10-15 08:10

      Robin Stobbs, this \Verkrampte\ government as you call it did not have TV until 1975/1976 so I do not know where you could have seen the attempt in 1969. Dit wil voorkom asof jy 'n bietjie vlak is in die boonste verdieping.

      christo.crous - 2012-10-15 09:32

      America had tv since we were a bit behind John..

      robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-10-15 09:32

      Precisely my point john.ferreira. We in SA were denied the TV coverage of man's flights to the Moon while my friends and family overseas were able to watch every TV broadcast. Listening to the radio is not the same thing. So I repeat my gripe - our government of the day denied us this privilege.

  • pagel.trivia - 2012-10-15 07:01 says he reached a speed of 1380 km/h. Which is it? Amazing feat, regardless of which one is correct - both more than mach 1.

      christo.crous - 2012-10-15 09:37

      1137km/h you should know that you can never trust News24's data..

  • LanfearM - 2012-10-15 08:26

    Awesome achievement! Love it.

  • wlombard - 2012-10-15 08:34

    Pity they didn't mention the guy that had to clean his suit after this epic free-fall.

  • padayachee - 2012-10-15 10:57

    Is it not obvious that if he aims to travel faster than the person that broke the longest free fall that he'll have to pull his parachute earlier than the person that's falling longer but slower...?

  • Toolman - 2012-10-16 20:17

    Great Effort.

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