Wind thwarts skydiver's record attempt

2012-10-09 20:43
Felix Baumgartner capsule

Felix Baumgartner capsule

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Los Angeles - An Austrian daredevil's attempt to make an unprecedented leap from the edge of space was aborted on Tuesday moments before the planned launch due to gusty winds, organisers said.

Felix Baumgartner was already installed in the pressurised capsule, and a five-minute countdown was started, but as it got down to zero it became clear that conditions were too windy.

The huge, gossamer-thin balloon which was to have taken him aloft could be seen buffetted around at the launch site in Roswell, in the US state of New Mexico.

"Aborted," Sarah Anderson, a spokesperson for the Red Bull Stratos mission, told AFP, adding that no new attempt would be made on Tuesday. "Not today - window has passed," she said.

Baumgartner said he will try again, but it was unclear if that would come this week.

The 43-year-old Austrian aims to break at least three records by conducting the highest and fastest freefall jump, from 36km up, and by becoming the first human to break the sound barrier without an aircraft.

The jump was initially due on Monday, but was delayed by 24 hours due to weather, and then the launch time had begun slipping again on Tuesday morning.

Baumgartner has been training for five years for the jump, during which he will be in freefall for some five minutes before opening a parachute at 5 000 feet up to float back to the ground.

The biggest danger he faces is spinning out of control, which could exert G forces and make him lose consciousness. A controlled dive from the capsule is essential, putting him in a head-down position to increase speed.


Read more on:    red bull  |  felix baumgartner  |  us  |  space
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