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Austrian space diver no stranger to danger

Published on Oct 15, 2012 12:22 PM
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Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria celebrates after successfully completing the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico in this October 14, 2012 handout photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - "Fearless Felix" Baumgartner, the Austrian daredevil who stunned fans around the world on Sunday by breaking the sound barrier in a hair-raising dive from the fringe of space, was "born to fly."

That's according to a tattoo the 43-year-old sports, a motto that took on a whole new meaning after his nail-biting feat, the fastest freefall ever by leaping from a capsule more than 39 kilometers above the Earth and reaching a top speed of 1,342 kilometres per hour.

The dramatic jump - which could have ended in disaster by causing his blood to boil - propelled the extreme adventure-seeker into the record books.

It also made a childhood dream come true.

 
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