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The crane launching the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA, yesterday. INSET: Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria, who broke three world records with his leap, is seen on a screen at mission control centre during the final manned flight.
ROSWELL, NM: An Austrian daredevil leapt into the stratosphere from a balloon hovering near the edge of space 38km above Earth yesterday, breaking as many as three world records including the highest skydive ever, project
Cheers broke out as Felix Baumgartner, 43, jumped from a skateboard sized shelf outside the 11-by-8-foot (3.3-by-2.4 metre) fibreglass and acrylic capsule that was carried as high as 128,000 feet by an enormous balloon.
“We love you Felix!” screamed the crowd as he plunged through the stratosphere.
His body pierced the atmosphere at speeds topping 700 miles per hour, appearing to achieve another of his goals: to become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound, according to the project website.
He sped toward Earth on the 65th anniversary of legendary American pilot Chuck Yeager’s flight shattering the sound barrier on October 14, 1947.
Baumgartner broke records for the highest altitude manned balloon flight and the highest altitude skydive before landing safely on the ground and raising his arms in a victory salute.