Alan Eustace, a senior vice president at the Mountain View,
California-based company, was lifted up 135,890 feet (41,419 meters)
by an enormous balloon shortly before dawn on Friday, the Paragon
Space Development Corp said.
After spending about 30 minutes "experiencing the wonders of the
stratosphere," he plunged toward the earth, the company, which
designed his custom-made pressurized spacesuit and life support
system, said on its website.
The jump topped a record set by Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner
over New Mexico on Oct. 14, 2012 after he jumped from a height of
128,100 feet (39,045 meters).
Eustace remained in a free fall for about 4.5 minutes before landing
safely nearly 70 miles from his launch point, setting a world record
for the highest skydive and breaking the sound barrier in the
"In rapid free-fall, Alan experienced a short period of near
weightlessness and within 90 seconds exceeded the speed of sound,"
Paragon said on its website.
He landed on the ground just 15 minutes after he was lifted into the
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Eustace, who has worked with Google since 2002, is a pilot and
skydiver, Paragon said.
"I always wondered: what if you could design a system that would
allow humans to explore the stratosphere as easily and safely as
they do the ocean?" Eustace is quoted as saying on the space
development company's website.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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