Skydiver Baumgartner sets YouTube live view record

Highlights from Felix Baumgartner's leap into the record books

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Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner smashed a number of records with his "edge of space" stunt - including for live streaming.

More than eight million people flocked to their devices to watch the 43-year-old break the speed of sound live on Google's YouTube site.

It is the largest number of concurrent live streams in the website's history, Google UK confirmed to the BBC.

Mr Baumgartner broke the record for the highest freefall.

He jumped from a capsule taken to 128,100ft (24 miles; 39km) above New Mexico in the US by a giant helium balloon.

It took nine minutes for him to reach the ground.

Footage from a camera on Baumgartner's chest shows out-of-control spin

The adventurer plummeted at an estimated 833.9mph (1,343km/h), hitting Mach 1.24.

"On the step, I felt that the whole world is watching," Mr Baumgartner said after the jump.

"I said I wish they would see what I see. It was amazing."

The capsule from which the skydiver fell was equipped with cameras to provide a live internet feed to millions of people around the world.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that the number of viewers simultaneously watching the Red Bull Stratos stunt live on YouTube was the site's highest.

"We congratulate Felix Baumgartner and the entire Red Bull Stratos team for their successful mission, and for creating a live stream with the most concurrent views ever on YouTube," the company said on its blog.

In comparison, about 8.3m people accessed the BBC's sport website on the first day of this year's Olympic Games.

Invaluable data

Other technology used to record the event will have a more long-term application. Mr Baumgartner's body was monitored during the jump using equipment from Equivital, a small UK company.

A system strapped to the skydiver's chest wirelessly transmitted data about his heartbeat, respiration, skin temperature and other vital signs.

"It's a major coup for Equivital, which, despite its small size - currently only 25 employees - provides the US Army with its human body monitoring system," the company told BBC News.

The Red Bull Stratos scientists said the stunt had provided invaluable data for the development of high-performance, high-altitude parachute systems, and that the lessons learned would inform the development of new ideas for emergency evacuation from vehicles, such as spacecraft passing through the stratosphere.

"Part of this programme was to show high-altitude egress, passing through Mach and a successful re-entry back [to subsonic speed], because our belief scientifically is that's going to benefit future private space programmes or high-altitude pilots, and Felix proved that today," said Art Thompson, the team principal.

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