Submitted by ub on Sun, 10/14/2012 - 15:58

But This time, it was not broken by a pilot inside an airplane.
Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner has landed safely on Earth after a 24-mile drop from the stratosphere in a daring jump, which may also have marked the world's first supersonic skydive. The near absence of air at this high altitude means he broke the speed of sound as he fell representing a velocity in excess of 690mph (1,110km/h).

Ironically, it was 65 years ago today when Chuck Yeager broke sound barrier. The U.S. Air Force Captain became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound. Capt. Yeager was born in Myra, West Virginia, in 1923, became a combat fighter during World War II and flew 64 missions over Europe.

Following the end of the war, Yeager was among several volunteers chosen to test-fly the experimental X-1 rocket plane, built by the Bell Aircraft Company to explore the possibility of supersonic flight.

The sound barrier is the point at which an object moves from transonic to supersonic speed. The term, which occasionally has other meanings, came into use during World War II, when a number of aircraft started to encounter the effects of compressibility, a collection of several unrelated aerodynamic effects that "struck" their planes like an impediment to further acceleration.