A 57-year-old Google executive has broken the world altitude record with a parachute jump from the top of the stratosphere.
Alan Eustace, a senior-vice president at Google, beat the 2012 record set by daredevil Felix Baumgartner with a jump from 135,000 feet over Roswell, New Mexico.
After making a two hour ascent attached to a balloon travelling at speeds of 1,600 feet per minute, Eustace took just 15 minutes to come back down to Earth.
After being catapulted off the balloon by a small explosion, he was in freefall for around five minutes. Eustace reached speeds of 822 miles per hour, setting off a sonic boom, before unleashing his parachute at 18,000 feet.
The New York Times quoted Eustace as saying:
It was amazing. It was beautiful. 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.
According to the paper, Eustace had declined support from his company as he did not want his mission to become a marketing event.
Instead plans to make the record-breaking jump were kept largely under wraps as the Google vice-president worked with the Paragon Space Development Corporation to make his vision a reality.
Two years ago, Austrian Baumgartner jumped from 128,000 feet in a Red Bull-sponsored multi-million dollar project which raised the profile for the energy drink brand.