A senior Google executive has broken the world record for highest free-fall parachute jump today. Dr. Alan Eustace, whose official title is Senior Vice President of Knowledge, successfully completed a jump from 135,908 feet. The accomplishment came seemingly out of nowhere with no fanfare or media buzz whatsoever; The New York Times’ science Twitter account first reported Eustace’s incredible feat.
A well-known computer scientist parachuted from a balloon near the top of the stratosphere on Friday, falling faster than the speed of sound and breaking the world altitude record set just two years ago. The jump was made by Alan Eustace, 57, a senior vice president at Google. At dawn he was lifted by a balloon filled with 35,000 cubic feet of helium, from an abandoned runway at the airport here. For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall. “It was amazing,” he said. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.”
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