Google executive Alan Eustace sets supersonic skydiving record (Watch Video)

Google executive Alan Eustace sets supersonic skydiving record (Watch Video)

Written by Staff Writer

25 Oct, 2014 | 9:02 am

A senior Google vice president, Alan Eustace, has broken the world altitude record for a parachute jump set in 2012 by Austrian Felix Baumgartner.

Mr Eustace was carried by a large helium balloon from New Mexico to over 40km (25 miles) above the earth.

The 57-year-old leapt out in a specially-designed space suit, reaching speeds of more than 1,300km/h.

He exceeded the speed of sound, setting off a small sonic boom, and broke three skydiving records in the process.

The dive was part of a project led by Paragon Space Development Corporation, aimed at the exploration of the stratosphere above 100,000 feet (30,480 metres).

Mr Eustace successfully jumped from near the top of the stratosphere at an altitude of 135,890 feet at 09:09 local time (16:00 GMT), the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) confirmed on Friday.

The previous record was set by Mr Baumgartner two years ago, after he jumped from a height of nearly 128,000 feet.

Mr Eustace also broke the world records for vertical speed reached with a peak velocity of 1,321km/h (822 mph) and total freefall distance of 123,414 feet – lasting four minutes and 27 seconds.

He set off from an abandoned runway in Roswell, New Mexico, at 07:00 connected to a balloon module, which carried him for two hours and seven minutes to his target altitude.

The Google executive – who is also a veteran pilot and parachutist – had been planning this jump for several years, working in secret with a small group of people trained in parachute and balloon technology, says the BBC’s David Willis in Los Angeles.



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