A senior Google vice president, Alan Eustace, has broken the world altitude record for a parachute jump set in 2012 by Austrian Felix Baumgartner.

Mr Eustace was carried by a large helium balloon from New Mexico to over 40km (25 miles) above the earth.

The 57-year-old leapt out in a specially-designed space suit, reaching speeds of more than 1,300km/h.

He exceeded the speed of sound, setting off a small sonic boom, and set several skydiving records in the process.

The dive was part of a project led by Paragon Space Development Corporation, aimed at the exploration of the stratosphere above 100,000 feet (30,480 metres).

Years of preparation
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 previous record was set by Mr Baumgartner two years ago, after he jumped from a height of nearly 128,000 feet.

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