In the early morning hours, aerial daredevil Felix Baumgartner stepped from a balloon carrying a pressurized capsule floating 96,640 feet above the sun-scorched earth near Roswell, N.M., and free-fell for 3 minutes and 48 seconds -- hitting 536 mph along the way.
After the free-fall, he opened his parachute and fluttered back to Earth. He safely hit the ground about 10 minutes and 30 seconds after the initial jump.
Baumgartner’s jump on Wednesday was part of an ongoing effort to break the 52-year-old world record of 102,800 feet held by Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger. The endeavor, called Stratos, is sponsored by the energy drink company Red Bull.
Baumgartner, a 43-year-old Austrian national, plans to jump from the edge of the atmosphere at 120,000 feet, or 22 miles above Earth, before the end of September. The recent jump was meant to get the team one step closer to setting the record.