Official: Skydiver breaks speed of sound

In this photo provided by Red Bull, pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria is seen in a screen at mission control center in the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, N.M. on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. Baumgartner plans to jump from an altitude of 120,000 feet, an altitude chosen to enable him to achieve Mach 1 in free fall, which would deliver scientific data to the aerospace community about human survival from high altitudes.(AP Photo/Red Bull, Stefan Aufschnaiter)

ROSWELL, N.M. - Officials say that Felix Baumgartner has become the first skydiver to break the speed of sound.

At a news conference, Brian Utley of the International Federation of Sports Aviation, says Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph (1,342 kph) during his jump Sunday over the New Mexico desert.

That amounts to Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound. No one has ever reached that speed wearing only a high-tech suit.

Baumgartner says that travelling faster than sound is "hard to describe because you don't feel it." With no reference points, "you don't know how fast you travel."

Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,097 feet (39,044 metres), or roughly 24 miles (38.6 kilometres), above Earth.