Insane Austrian Hits 536MPH During His Stratospheric Skydive From the Edge of Space, 18 Miles Up

By Sam Gibbs on at

Felix Baumgartner, the Red Bull-powered daredevil, has just completed his highest test jump yet, reaching a colossal 536mph from 18 miles up. That's 18 miles from the edge of space back to mother Earth in just three minutes, 40 seconds.

Hot damn that's fast, and apparently pretty toasty too, at least inside his pressurised suit. Baumgartner's attempting to break the highest free fall world record, which is currently held by a US Air Force test pilot, Joe Kittinger, who jumped out at 31,330m back in 1960. The Austrian's next step is a dive from 23 miles up, which will claim him the world record and hopefully see him break the sound barrier -- that's about 340 metres per second, or in slightly easier-to-picture units, a whopping 768mph.

I wonder if the world looks like a blur going past at that speed. My hat goes off to him, but you wouldn't catch me doing anything that crazy. Imagine if his parachute didn't open. That'd be one short dive, and one massive hole in the ground. [Red Bull Stratos via Telegraph]