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Daredevil skydiver lands 18-mile jump from edge of space

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A daredevil skydiver landed safely in New Mexico Wednesday after jumping from the edge of space - an altitude of more than 18 miles.

Felix Baumgartner, known as "Fearless Felix," ascended from Roswell in an enclosed capsule lifted by a giant helium balloon. The 43-year-old wore a full-pressure suit as he jumped from an estimated 96,640 feet, nearly three times higher than cruising jetliners.

It took about 1½ hours to reach his target altitude. He was in free fall for an estimated three minutes and 48 seconds before opening his parachutes.

After he landed, the former military parachutist talked about the intricate procedure of getting out of the capsule.

"That's proper procedure, which includes 40 steps, and if there's only one step out of control, this whole thing goes the wrong direction because there's nothing you can do. As soon as you open that door, you're committed," Baumgartner said.

Baumgartner says he plans to attempt a record-breaking jump from 125,000 feet, or 23 miles, in another month. He hopes to go supersonic then, breaking the speed of sound with just his body.

Red Bull sponsored the jump.

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