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Austrian ‘daredevil’ sets record making highest dive ever

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ADVENTURE. Austrian sky adventurer Felix Baumgartner set new world record, after achieving the highest free jump in history from 39 kilometers above Earth.

Austrian sky adventurer Felix Baumgartner. Photo: Red Bull Stratos

HIGHEST FREE FALL EVER. Austrian sky adventurer Felix Baumgartner made history Sunday when he successfully leaped from a helium balloon 24 miles, almost 39 kilometers, in the sky, hitting 729 miles an hour in descent, USA Today reported.

After completing his final checklist, the diver, described as a “professional daredevil”, left the platform of his capsule and made the historic jump. He landed safely in New Mexico and lifted his hands in victory afterwards.

Baumgartner took 2 hours 21 minutes to reach the height, lifting off in an enormous helium balloon that smoothly carried him through the critical first 4,000 feet — called the Dead Zone because it would be impossible to parachute to safety, the New York Times reported.

The diver was wearing a pressurized suit to survive in the near vacuum at the edge of space, and had hoped reach a speed of more than 700 miles an hour, the newspaper reported. Felix Baumgartner was backed by a NASA-style mission control operation at an airfield in Roswell that involved 300 people, including more than 70 engineers, scientists and physicians who have been working for five years on the project, called Red Bull Stratos, after the drink company that has financed it.

MORE INFO ABOUT THE JUMP: RedBullStratos.com

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.