Since October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace holds the World Records for vertical speed reached during freefall with a peak velocity of 1,321 kilometres per hour (822 mph) and total freefall distance of 123,414 feet – lasting four minutes and 27 seconds.
The Google executive – a veteran pilot and parachutist – had been planning this jump for several years, working in secret with a small group of people trained in parachute and balloon technology. He set off from an abandoned runway in Roswell, New Mexico, at 07:00 connected to a balloon module, which carried him for two hours and seven minutes to his target altitude.
In doing so, he beat the previous record holder Austrian Felix Baumgarten, whose jump from the edge of space was streamed live over the internet on 14th October 2012.
The 57-year-old was carried up by a large helium balloon from New Mexico to over 40km (around 25 miles) above the Earth, and dove down in a specially-designed pressurised suit, reaching speeds of more than 1,300 kilometres per hour.
Mr Eustace successfully jumped from near the top of the stratosphere at an altitude of 135,890 feet at 09:09 local time (16:00 GMT), the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) confirmed on Friday.
The freefall dive was part of a project aimed at the exploration of the stratosphere above 100,000 feet (30,480 metres).
“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.”