Edge-of-space skydiver grounded by ANOTHER bout of bad wind
Baumgartner's mission still on hold
Updated Skydiving Felix Baumgartner, his mind filled with dreams of reaching supersonic speeds in the highest-ever free fall attempted by a human being... is still sitting in the desert twiddling his thumbs.
Adverse winds over New Mexico, where he will attempt to land after his death-defying plummet from the edge of space, have once again delayed his launch.
The 120,000ft skydive that will send the Austrian hurtling towards the ground at speeds of up to 690mph was scheduled to go ahead yesterday, but delayed by 24 hours by the weather. And it looks unlikely that the jump will go ahead today either.
The live video feed from the launch site is frozen on a picture of the sky, and the mission is described as "on weather hold". Punters can watch the excitement on the RedBull Stratos site – it's mainly people on mobile phones sometimes walking past the camera.
The huge balloon that will lift the space-suited Austrian is extremely fragile, and that's the part of the mission that will go wrong if conditions are anything other than perfect.
The earliest possible time the titanium-balled jumper will take off today, if at all, is 1730 GMT. ®
Red Bull has cancelled an attempt at the launch on Tuesday after rising winds slammed its fragile balloon onto the desert sands.
The balloon still needed another 20 minutes of inflation but the capsule was attached when the wind picked up and the launch was called off. Felix Baumgartner has left the capsule and the Stratos team are now checking the balloon for damage; it has brought along a spare just in case.
Baumgartner has been up since 2am preparing for the mission and spent over an hour breathing oxygen to flush nitrogen out of his system before getting into his suit.
He will now have to wait for a weather update for tomorrow. Preliminary reports suggest the winds may be too strong, the team reports, and the chances for a successful launch will only decline as the month progresses.
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