Alan Eustace space jump: Watch Google executive break Felix Baumgartner's record – and the speed of sound

Eustace jumped from more than 25 miles above the Earth

Alan Eustace is carried aloft by a balloon for his leap from the edge of space that broke the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert
Alan Eustace is carried aloft by a balloon for his leap from the edge of space that broke the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert

Google executive, Alan Eustace, has broken the record for the highest parachute jump in history, breaking the sound barrier in the process.

He jumped from 135,000ft, or more than 25 miles, above the surface of the earth, smashing the 24-mile record set by Felix Baumgartner two years ago.

“It was amazing,” Mr Eustace, 57, told the New York Times. “You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.”

"It was a wild, wild ride. I hugged on to the equipment module and tucked my legs and I held my heading,” he added.

The senior vice president at Google was lifted by a balloon containing 35,000 cubic feet of helium from an abandoned runway in New Mexico wearing a specially designed spacesuit.

It took more than two hours for the executive to reach the drop height, but just 4-and-half minutes to free fall to earth reaching speeds of up to 822mph.

The sky dive took three years of planning and preparation and happened with little media fanfare compared to previous record attempts.

Jim Hayhurst, director of competition at the United States Parachute Association, the jump's official observer, said: "This was a bunch of quiet engineers doing the job," he said. "This is a scientific endeavour. This is a stepping stone to space."

Mr Eustace's supersonic jump was part of a project by Paragon Space Development Corporation and its Stratospheric Explorer team, which has been working secretly for years to develop a self-contained commercial spacesuit that would allow people to explore some 20 miles above the Earth's surface.

Friday's success marked a major step forward in that effort, company officials said.

"This has opened up endless possibilities for humans to explore previously seldom visited parts of our stratosphere," Grant Anderson, Paragon president and CEO, said in a statement.

Additional Reporting by AP

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