Austrian skydiver, Felix Baumgartner made history by setting a new world record for skydiving. On 14 October 2012, he successfully landed from a parachute jump from a world record height of 38,969.4 meters – breaking eight world records and became the first person to break the sound barrier in the space of just three hours.
During his stratospheric skydive, Felix reached a top speed of 1,357.6 km/h (843.6 mph). His fall achieved a supersonic speed making him the first human to break the sound barrier in freefall. In comparison, the speed of sound is 1,236 km/h (768 mph). Felix’s achievement also led to the completion of the highest freefall parachute jump ever recorded. The freefall event was streamed online on YouTube and watched by eight million people. In total, Felix went on to break eight world records in the span of three hours.
To put this momentous feat into perspective, the fastest speed ever achieved by an F1 racing car is at 231.5mph. This is considered extremely high speed as a blink of an eye would have caused us to miss the racing car speeding past. Felix’s top speed, on the other hand, is more than three times the speed of an F1 racing car.