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## Who Was the First Skydiver to Break the Sound Barrier?

The sound barrier is an invisible threshold in the atmosphere where the speed of an object exceeds the speed of sound. For skydivers, breaking the sound barrier is a dangerous and audacious feat that requires immense skill and courage.

### Felix Baumgartner

The first skydiver to successfully break the sound barrier was Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper. On October 14, 2012, Baumgartner ascended to a record-breaking altitude of 135,890 feet (41,442 meters) in a pressurized capsule carried by a helium balloon.

### The Stratos Project

Baumgartner’s attempt to break the sound barrier was part of a project known as the Stratos Project, which was funded by Red Bull. The project aimed to study the effects of extreme altitude on the human body and develop technologies for high-altitude flights.

### The Jump

Baumgartner’s jump began with a 60-second freefall through the stratosphere, during which he reached a peak speed of 1,342 kilometers per hour (833 miles per hour). This surpassed the speed of sound, which is approximately 1,235 kilometers per hour (767 miles per hour) at sea level.

### Challenges

Breaking the sound barrier is an extremely dangerous endeavor. The intense heat and pressure generated by the supersonic airflow can cause severe burns and structural damage to the diver’s suit and equipment. Additionally, the sudden deceleration upon entering the denser atmosphere can cause potentially fatal G-forces.

### Safety Measures

Baumgartner’s suit and capsule were specially designed to withstand the extreme conditions of his jump. The suit was made of multiple layers of heat-resistant materials and featured a helmet with a visor that could withstand high temperatures. The capsule was equipped with a parachute system that would automatically deploy at a safe altitude.

### Aftermath

After successfully breaking the sound barrier, Baumgartner landed safely in the New Mexico desert. He became a global celebrity and his jump set numerous records, including the highest altitude skydive, the longest freefall, and the fastest freefall by a human.

### Legacy

Baumgartner’s historic jump proved that the human body is capable of surviving and functioning in the extreme conditions of the stratosphere. His achievement has inspired countless others to push the boundaries of human endeavor and explore the unknown.

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