Felix Baumgartner moments before he leapt into the record books

Red Bull’s Extreme Base jumper 43-year-old Felix Baumgartner on Sunday afternoon completed his over 23-mile jump from the edge of space and has broken the World Record for the highest jump by a skydiver.

In the process he reached speeds of 1,342km/h, or 1.24 times the speed of sound.  No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.

Cheers broke out as as the Austrian jumped from a tiny shelf outside the 11-by-8-foot fiberglass and acrylic capsule that was carried to 128,000 feet by an enormous balloon.

“My visor is fogging up,” he gasped over the radio as he fell through the air moments before his parachute opened to the applause of the crowd on the ground, including his teary-eyed mother, father and girlfriend, watching on monitors miles below.

Baumgartner’s ascent into the stratosphere took about 2 1/2 hours to 128,000 feet – almost four times the height of a cruising passenger airline. From there he leapt into the record books.

He broke the altitude record for highest manned balloon flight at over 113,740, the longest fall by a skydiver which was held by US Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger whose record in 1960 stood at 92,000 feet.

Baumgartner landed safely in the New Mexico desert after five years of planning for the mission.

The jump was watched by millions live on TV and on the internet.