Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner has broken the sound barrier during his jump from the edge of space, but he did not set a new record for the longest freefall, a mission spokeswoman says.
The 43-year-old Austrian achieved the fastest-ever freefall speed at 1137 kilometres per hour during the 4 minutes and 19 seconds of descent from an altitude of 39,044 metres, spokeswoman Sarah Anderson said.
He was bidding to break records set more than 50 years ago by Joseph Kittinger, now a retired US Air Force colonel who made a freefall jump from 31,333 metres in 1960.
Kittinger was part of Baumgartner’s back-up team.
Citing preliminary figures, she said the whole jump lasted nine minutes and three seconds, including 4min:44sec after he deployed his parachute to float down to earth in the New Mexico desert.
Baumgartner had hoped to be in freefall for more than five minutes before opening his chute, and had also expected to jump from a lower altitude - 36,576 metres.
The reason for the shorter than expected freefall was not immediately clear, although live commentary during the unprecedented leap suggested he opened his parachute at an altitude above the 1524-metre level announced in advance.
Millions of viewers around the world watched Baumgartner overcome crippling fear to perform the stunt.
The jump was filmed on a camera attached to his capsule and streamed live on YouTube.
The seasoned skydiver suffered panic attacks when forced to spend hours inside the pressurised suit and helmet, designed to protect the human body as it broke the sound barrier.
In 2010, he fled the US to avoid an endurance test in the suit. With the help of a sports psychologist and other specialists, he learned how to manage the claustrophobia.