Felix Baumgartner in capsule
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Austrian daredevil's skydive record under way

14 October 2012 Last updated at 16:48 BST

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner has begun his ascent to the stratosphere where he will attempt to become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier.

His giant helium balloon left the ground at Roswell, New Mexico, a short while ago and is currently on a climb that should take it to more than 120,000ft (36.5km).

If he succeeds in the death-defying feat, the man nicknamed "Fearless Felix" will break a 52-year-old altitude record by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from 19.5 miles and reached a speed of 614 mph, just under the sound barrier.