Skydiver 'Fearless Felix' Breaks Sound Barrier

Felix Baumgartner landed safely in eastern New Mexico minutes after jumping from 128,000 feet. The feat carried out on Sunday qualifies as the world's first supersonic skydive, officials said.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today, is supersonic.

A space jump and the brand behind it mesmerized viewers yesterday.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Felix Baumgartner wanted to jump from 24 miles up and travel faster than the speed of sound in freefall, which would be a first. From mission control, they went through a checklist.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Item 31. Your shoot integrity is checked and your parachutes are not deployed.

MONTAGNE: Checklist complete, he leaned out from the capsule of his balloon 24 miles above Earth, and then jumped.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Unintelligible) stable.

INSKEEP: As Baumgartner pulled his parachute for his landing into New Mexico desert, more than eight million people streaming the video on YouTube saw the Red Bull logo floating above the man who just went faster than the speed of sound.

MONTAGNE: You could call it the advertising coup for Red Bull, which has poured untold millions of dollars into this space jump attempt over several years. The energy drink company also sponsors two Formula One teams and backs hundreds of extreme sportsmen from cliff divers to snowboarders.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T STOP ME NOW")

QUEEN: (Singing) I wanna make a supersonic man out of you. Don't stop me now...

MONTAGNE: And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T STOP ME NOW")

QUEEN: (Singing) Don't stop me now if you wanna have a good time.

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