Oct 14, 2012 09:31 PM EDT
When Felix Baumgartner landed on both feet near Roswell, New Mexico on Sunday, he fell on both knees and raised his arms in the air as 8 million people from around the world watched the event online.
The Austrian skydiver broke the speed of sound after jumping from an altitude of 128,097 feet, the highest ever attempted by a human being. He also broke the record for the top speed during a free fall. The speed of sound is 768 mph or about one mile in five seconds. It is defined as the distance travelled during a unit of time by a sound wave propagating throug an elastic medium.
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Baumgartner's free fall lasted 4:19 minutes and he reached an estimated speed of 834.37 mph, according to the Red Bull Stratos mission.
"The whole world is watching now," he said before jumping. "I'm coming home now."
The Red Bull Stratos mission's live stream drew 8 million viewers on YouTube, likely the highest audience ever for a live streaming event on the website. The jump was also broadcast on TV on Discovery Channel in the United States.
"Let me tell you - when I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble. You don't think about breaking records anymore, you don't think about gaining scientific data - the only thing that you want is to come back alive," Baumgartner said at a press conference after the jump.
He told reporters that he almost lost consciousness.
"The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I'd just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I'd lose consciousness. I didn't feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself. We'll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be," he said at a press conference posted on the Red Bull Stratos website.
He nearly aborted the mission because his helmet visor fogged up due to a failure on its heater.
The 43-year old extreme skydiver dubbed "Fearless Felix" broke Joseph Kittinger's world record at 102,800 feet set in 1960.
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