Official: Baumgartner is first-ever skydiver to break speed of sound

Juan Carlos Llorca, The Associated Press

ROSWELL, N.M. - Officials say that Felix Baumgartner has become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound.

At a news conference, Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation, says Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph (1,342 kph) during his jump Sunday over the New Mexico desert.

That amounts to Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound. No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.

Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,097 feet (39,044 metres), or roughly 24 miles (38.6 kilometres), above Earth. He lifted his arms in victory, setting off loud cheers from jubilant onlookers and friends.