The mission ended at 11:17 a.m. PT today when Baumgartner landed. At first, Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos team said that the unofficial top speed of the freefall was 1,137 kilometers per hour, or 706 miles per hour. Later, they raised that to 1,342.8 km/h, or 834.4 mph.
The team's expectation was that 690 mph would be sufficient to get Baumgartner to Mach 1 -- a somewhat variable standard, depending on elevation, air density, and other factors. But that would handily beat the record for the fastest freefall, which has stood at 614 mph for a half-century.
Baumgartner seems clearly to have set a record for the highest manned balloon flight and the highest freefall, having jumped from at altitude of 128,097 feet. The duration of the freefall, 4 minutes and 19 seconds, was just shy of the record (4:36).
October 14, 2012 11:44 AM PDT
Photo by: Red Bull Stratos
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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