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This story appears in the February 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

On the morning of Oct. 14, 2012, Austrian sky diver Felix Baumgartner strapped himself to a helium balloon that carried him 24 miles above Roswell, N.M., to the edge of space. Then, with just a spacesuit and parachute, he made a nine-minute, supersonic jump that catapulted him into history books as the first person to break the speed of sound in free fall--at 833.9 mph, or Mach 1.24--without mechanical intervention.

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