Skydiver begins daring bid to break sound barrier

Associated Press
The capsule, bottom left, and attached helium balloon carrying Felix Baumgartner lifts off as he attempts to break the speed of sound with his own body by jumping from a space capsule lifted by a helium balloon, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Roswell, N.M.  Baumgartner plans to jump from an altitude of 120,000 feet, an altitude chosen to enable him to achieve Mach 1 in free fall, which would deliver scientific data to the aerospace community about human survival from high altitudes.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner has landed on Earth after a jump from the stratosphere in what could be the world's first supersonic skydive.

Baumgartner landed in eastern New Mexico desert minutes after jumping from 28,000 feet, or 24 miles.

He lifted his arms in victory shortly after landing.

He took off in a pressurized capsule carried by a 55-story ultra-thin helium balloon. He jumped from more than three times the height of the average cruising altitude for jetliners.

Baumgartner was expected to hit a speed of 690 mph before activating his parachute about 5,000 above the ground in southeastern New Mexico.

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