Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner became the first skydiver to break the speed of sound in a 24-mile-high jump from a balloon on Sunday, reaching 833.9 mph in a free fall that lasted more than 9 minutes.
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.
Landing on his feet in the New Mexico desert, the man known as "Fearless Felix" lifted his arms in victory to the cheers of jubilant onlookers and friends.
"When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about breaking records anymore. You do not think about gaining scientific data," he said after the jump. "The only thing you want is to come back alive."
"Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are," an exuberant Baumgartner told reporters outside mission control after safely landing.
Baumgartner says that traveling faster than sound is "hard to describe because you don't feel it." With no reference points, "you don't know how fast you travel."