1. ITV Report

Google executive breaks Felix Baumgartner's world record after jumping from the edge of space

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.

Alan Eustace before jumping from the edge of space. Credit: Paragon Space Development

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.

He was wearing a suit similar to those worn by astronauts during spacewalks. Credit: Paragon Space Development

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.

Mr Eustace exceeded the speed of sound during his fall. Credit: Paragon Space Development

Ascending at about 1,000 feet per minute, Mr Eustace achieved the target altitude of 25 miles in two and a half hours.

Humans can not normally survive at that altitude. Credit: Paragon Space Development

"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.

The suit was equipped with a life support system. Credit: Paragon Space Development

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 was carried by a helium balloon. Credit: Paragon Space Development

I always wondered: what if you could design a system that would allow humans to explore the stratosphere as easily and safely as they do the ocean?

– Alan Eustace

He finally deployed his parachute at around 18,000 feet and floated to the ground.

The parachute was deployed at 18,000 feet. Credit: Paragon Space Development

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.