Wind delays Austrian's edge of space jump in US (Update)

October 6, 2012
In this image obtained from, pilot Felix Buamgartner of Austria shows a piece of the balloon material during the Red Bull Stratos egress training in Lancaster, California, in February 2012. US organizers of Buamgartner's record-breaking attempt to jump from the edge of space have delayed the mission by a day due to forecast wind, they said.

US organizers of an Austrian daredevil's record-breaking attempt to jump from the edge of space have delayed the mission by a day due to forecast wind, they said Friday.

Felix Baumgartner, aiming to break a number of records including being the first man to exceed the speed of sound in free fall, is now scheduled to jump Tuesday instead of Monday over the US state of New Mexico.

"The reason for the delay is a strong cold front with sharply colder temperatures... over the weekend," said the organizers of the Red Bull Stratos mission.

"While the weather will greatly improve on Monday .. wind speeds are expected to be above acceptable levels for a safe launch on Monday morning," at up to 24 kmh (15 mph), said meteorologist Don Day.

Baumgartner aims to ascend 120,000 feet—nearly 23 miles, (36 kilometers)—in a capsule taken up to the edge of the stratosphere by a gigantic helium balloon, before stepping out in a pressurized suit to fall back to earth.

The 43-year-old has been training for five years for the jump, during which he will be in free fall for 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 in essential, putting him in a head-down position to increase speed.

Among the records he is seeking to break is that of the highest ever jump—at over three times the average airliner cruising altitude.

The Red Bull Stratos mission, backed by a 100-strong team of experts and centered on the launch site in Roswell, New Mexico, also hopes to contribute to medical and aeronautical research.

Organizers say that despite the delay from the originally planned Monday launch, the attempt will "most probably" go ahead Tuesday morning.

"The good news is that we usually have a day or two after this type of cold front moves through where the weather can be favorable for a balloon launch," said Day.

Explore further: Skydiver prepares for record-setting freefall from the edge of space

Related Stories

Skydiver aims for supersonic plunge on Oct. 8

September 25, 2012

(AP)—The countdown is on for skydiver Felix Baumgartner. In just two weeks, the Austrian parachutist will attempt to go supersonic when he jumps from a record altitude of 23 miles (37 kilometers) over the U.S.

Skydiver aims to break sound barrier in free fall

October 1, 2012

His blood could boil. His lungs could overinflate. The vessels in his brain could burst. His eyes could hemorrhage. And, yes, he could break his neck while jumping from a mind-boggling altitude of 23 miles (37 kilometers).

Recommended for you

How to prepare for Mars? NASA consults Navy sub force

October 5, 2015

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine ...

Researchers find a new way to weigh a star

October 5, 2015

Researchers from the University of Southampton have developed a new method for measuring the mass of pulsars – highly magnetised rotating neutron stars formed from the remains of massive stars after they explode into supernovae.

NASA selects investigations for future key planetary mission

October 1, 2015

NASA has selected five science investigations for refinement during the next year as a first step in choosing one or two missions for flight opportunities as early as 2020. Three of those chosen have ties to NASA's Jet Propulsion ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.