Skydiver lands safely in NM after 24-mile jump from stratosphere

Skydiver lands safely in NM after 24-mile jump from stratosphere

Associated Press

ROSWELL, N.M.

Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner landed gracefully on Earth today after a 24-mile jump from the stratosphere in a dramatic, record-breaking feat that may also have marked the world’s first supersonic skydive.

Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert minutes about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,097 feet, or roughly 24 miles, above Earth. He lifted his arms in victory, sending off loud cheers from jubilant onlookers and friends inside the mission’s control center in Roswell, N.M.

“Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are,” an exuberant Baumgartner told reporters outside mission control, shortly after the jump. He was expected to offer more remarks at an afternoon news conference.

The altitude he leapt from marked the highest-ever for a skydiver, though it wasn’t immediately certain whether Baumgartner had broken the speed of sound during his free-fall, which was one of the goals of the mission. Organizers said the descent lasted for just over nine minutes, about half of it in free-fall.

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