The Straits Times
Published on Oct 15, 2012

Austrian skydiver reached Mach 1.24: official


LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner reached a top speed of 1342kmh, or 1.24 times the speed of sound, in a record-breaking freefall from the edge of space, officials said on Sunday.

The speed, revealed at a press conference a few hours after the unprecedented leap, was higher than that given earlier by a spokeswoman, who had put his maximum speed as 1,136kmh.

The 43-year-old experienced skydiver was in freefall for four minutes and 20 seconds before opening his parachute, said Red Bull Stratos mission record keeper Brian Utley.

The conversion of 833.9 miles per hour being equal to Mach 1.24 was not immediately clear. Spokesman Sarah Anderson said that the speed of sound varies with altitude, but could not immediately clarify any further.