After strong winds and rain foiled his first attempts, on Sunday Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner completed a record-breaking (and sound-barrier-shattering) 24-mile (38 km) jump near Roswell, N.M.
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The 43-year-old daredevil teamed up with Red Bull for this bold endeavor, known as the Stratos Mission to the Edge of Space. After seven years of planning, Baumgartner finally stepped off a balloon into the air, about 23½ miles above the New Mexico desert, and completed a free-fall toward the earth’s surface. It was a risky feat indeed, thus the need to wait for ideal conditions.
The former military parachutist has become the first human to break the sound barrier without the protection of a vehicle. Now that Baumgartner has successfully completed the jump, he has broken a total of three world records — and with that, he plans to retire.
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PHOTOS: From the Edge of Space: Felix Baumgartner’s Death-Defying Dive