UPDATE: Felix Baumgartner’s free-fall attempt was cancelled on Tuesday due to high winds, which picked up when the skydiver’s balloon was being inflated. Baumgartner was strapped in and ready for launch when decision to abort was made.
Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner will attempt to make history Tuesday morning by jumping from a height of 36,576 metres (120,000 feet) before parachuting back to Earth.
Baumgartner, a former military skydiver turned career stuntman, plans to travel to the edge of space in a capsule propelled by a high-altitude ballon before jumping nearly 37 kilometres to the ground. He will wear a special pressurized suit and the free-fall is expected to take more than five minutes.
A previous attempt to set a new free-fall record claimed the life of American Nick Piantanida in 1961, when his suit depressurized.
Joe Kittinger, a retired Air Force colonel, holds the current speed and altitude jump records, which he set in 1960 when he jumped from a height of 31333.4 metres (102,800 feet). Kittinger will help coach Baumgartner through his jump.
The launch was scheduled for 6:30 a.m. MST in Roswell, New Mexico, but was pushed back due to high winds.
Redbull, which is sponsoring the event, is streaming the jump attempt live on YouTube.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012