Red Bull Stratos was a space diving project involving Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner. On 14 October 2012, Baumgartner flew approximately 39 kilometres (24 miles) into the stratosphere over New Mexico, United States, in a helium balloon before free falling in a pressure suit and then parachuting to Earth. The total jump, from leaving the capsule to landing on the ground, lasted approximately ten minutes. While the free fall was initially expected to last between five and six minutes, Baumgartner deployed his parachute after 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
Reaching 1,357.64 km/h (843.6 mph)—Mach 1.25—Baumgartner broke the sound barrier on his descent, thus becoming the first human to do so without any form of engine power. Preliminary measurements show Baumgartner also broke two other world records. With a final altitude of 38,969 m (127,851 ft) (23.3884 miles), Baumgartner broke the unofficial record for the highest manned balloon flight of 37,640 m (123,491 ft) previously set by Nicholas Piantanida. He also broke the record for the highest altitude jump, set in 1960 by retired USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who was Baumgartner's mentor and capsule communicator at mission control. These claims were verified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).