1. ITV Report

Felix Baumgartner reached speeds of 843.6 mph in record breaking skydive

Felix Baumgartner reached speeds of 843.6 mph. Photo: REUTERS/Jay Nemeth/Red Bull Stratos

Daredevil Felix Baumgartner, who rocketed to fame after leaping from the edge of space, fell faster than first thought during his record breaking jump last October.

The Austrian parachutist reached speeds of 843.6 mph, which is equivalent to 1.25 times the speed of sound, according to official numbers released.

His top speed was initially estimated at 834 mph.

Either way, Baumgartner, who was wearing a pressurised suit when he hopped from a giant balloon hovering 24 miles above New Mexico, became the first human to break the sound barrier with only his body.

Baumgartner's jump in numbers:

  • The daredevil exceeded the speed of sound for around 30 seconds during his freefall.
  • The 43-year-old's heart remained below 185 beats a minute and his breathing was fairly steady.
  • Baumgartner leaped from an altitude of 127,852 feet - which was 248 feet lower than original estimates but still stratospheric.
  • It took 34 seconds into his jump before the parachutist reached the speed of sound when he was just shy of 110,000 feet.
  • He reached peak speed by the time he was at 91,300 feet, which was 50 seconds into the jump.
  • The entire freefall lasted four minutes and 20 seconds.
  • He used a parachute to cover the last 5,000 feet, landing in the desert outside Roswell.
  • The outside temperature registered as low as -71 Celsius.

Not everything went smoothly for Baumgartner during the jump, with the daredevil going into the dreaded flat spin while travelling at supersonic speeds.

He spun for 13 seconds at roughly 60 revolutions per minutes, making 14 to 16 spins before using his body to regain control.

However, Art Thompson, technical project director for the Red Bull-sponsored project, said the skydiver was was well within safety limits the entire time.

Felix Baumgartner and Art Thompson celebrate after the daredevil completed his jump. Credit: REUTERS/Joerg Mitter/Red Bull

Baumgartner, whose jump was watched by 52 million people on YouTube, shattered the previous record set by Joe Kittinger, an Air Force officer, in 1960.

Kittinger failed to reach supersonic speed during his jump from 19.5 miles up.