Felix Baumgartner speaks of the emotional strain after his record-breaking skydive that saw him fall faster than the speed of sound.
Felix Baumgartner, a 43-year-old former military parachutist, floated for two hours in a purpose-built capsule towed by an enormous helium balloon before leaping into the record books from 128,000ft – almost four times the height of a cruising passenger airline.
He broke the current freefall record of 19.5 miles held by Joe Kittinger. Mr Kittinger, who set his record in 1960, was the only person allowed to communicate with Mr Baumgartner while he was inside the capsule which carried him into space.
As the launch began, Mr Kittinger told Mr Baumgartner: “You’re doing great, Felix. Doing great. Everything looks green and you are on your way to space.”
Mr Baumgartner’s parents were in Roswell, New Mexico for the launch, the first time they had travelled outside of Europe. His mother could be seen weeping as her son launched into space.
Preliminary figures show the Austrian skydiver reached a maximum speed of 833.9 miles per hour (1,342 kilometres per hour).
That amounts to Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound. No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.