A Google executive has broken Felix Baumgartner's world record after jumping from the edge of space.
Alan Eustace, senior vice president of knowledge at Google, was carried by a large helium balloon to over 25 miles above the earth while wearing a custom-made pressurized spacesuit completed with a life support system.
Humans cannot survive at that altitude, as there is no air to breath, and exposure to the vacuum would cause fluids in their bodies to boil.
Ahead of the mission, Mr Eustace completed a four-hour oxygen pre-breath phase to wash nitrogen from his body and prevent decompression sickness.
He was then attached to a helium-filled balloon and launched.
Ascending at about 1,000 feet per minute, Mr Eustace achieved the target altitude of 25 miles in two and a half hours.
"He spent a short time, around a half hour, experiencing the wonders of the stratosphere before being released from the balloon," said Paragon Space Development, the team behind the project.
In rapid free fall, Mr Eustace experienced a short period of near weightlessness and within 90 seconds exceeded the speed of sound. Stabilized by a small drogue chute, he continued to free fall into thickening atmosphere for about five minutes.
He finally deployed his parachute at around 18,000 feet and floated to the ground.
Within four hours of launch, Mr Eustace, now a world record holder, arrived at the launch site where the team toasted his achievement and safe return, Paragon Space Development said.