Google Exec Sets Space Jump Record

Alan Eustace jumps from 25 miles up
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2014 8:21 AM CDT
In this Oct. 20 photo provided by Paragon Space Development Corporation, Google executive Alan Eustace is shown before a test flight.   (AP Photo/Paragon Space Development Corporation)
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(Newser) – A 57-year-old Google executive is the world's new space daredevil. Alan Eustace yesterday traveled more than 25 miles up to the top of the stratosphere in a balloon and then parachuted back down to earth in Roswell, NM, at speeds of up to 822mph, reports the New York Times. In doing so, Eustace not only broke the sound barrier and set off his own personal sonic boom, he broke the altitude record set by Felix Baumgartner two years ago. For the record, Eustace hit an altitude of 135,890 feet, besting Baumgartner's 128,110 feet.

“It was amazing,” says Eustace, who is also a pilot. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.” Eustace got help from a company called Paragon Space Development Corporation, which the Guardian reports has been working on a commercial spacesuit tailored for exactly these kinds of stratospheric trips. Someday, tourists may be wearing them. Even the boss is impressed, notes the Wall Street Journal. “I knew I had high performing people working for me,” wrote Google CEO Larry Page on Google+. “But breaking the sound barrier falling in a space suit ...?” (Baumgartner actually fell a little faster than Eustace.)

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