Skydiver Felix Baumgartner heads toward the capsule today that he will ride to the stratosphere in his attempt to set a world free fall record from 120,000 feet.(Photo: Red Bull Stratos via Twitter)
3:17PM EST October 9. 2012 - The
attempt by Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner to set a free-fall
skydiving record was scrubbed Tuesday because of gusty winds at the
launch site in Roswell, N.M.
The attempt had been delayed at dawn
for five hours because of weather conditions, but then resumed about
10:18 a.m. MT. In the meantime, the project team also had problems with
one of the two radio to be used to communicate with Baumgartner during
Update at 1:51 p.m. ET: Baumgartner removes his helmet and steps from the capsule, then heads to his personal trailer.
Update at 1:47 p.m. ET:
Inside the capsule, Baumgartner -- who was visible on a closed-circuit
TV -- smiled briefly then began unbuckling his suit to climb out.
Update at 1:42 p.m. ET: Skydive attempt scrubbed for today because of gusty winds at the launch site in New Mexico.
Update at 1:28 p.m. ET: "I
am strapped into the capsule, and I am ready to go," skydiver Felix
Baumgartner tells Joe Kittinger in Mission Control. Kittinger is the
record holder for a free fall of 19.5 miles set in 1960. Baumgartner is
attempting 23 miles.
Update at 1:05 p.m. ET: Felix Baumgartner has entered the capsule in which he will be lofted into the stratosphere by a helium balloon.
Update at 12:57 p.m. ET: The launch of the helium balloon is now expected for 11:40 a.m. MT (1:40 p.m. ET)
Update at 12:26 p.m. ET:
Baumgartner has begun an hour and a half of "pre-breathing" in the
pressurized capsule that he will ride to the stratosphere for his jump.
Update at 12:18 p.m. ET: "Countdown is officially back on," the project managers tweeted. " Felix is in his suit and expected launch at 11:15 am MDT." That would be at 1:15 p.m. ET.
WATCH: Livestreaming of the skydive attempt
Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: The
capsule that will carry Baumgartner aloft in a helium balloon is "on
the move," according to the project website, indicating that it is being
positioned for the liftoff attempt.
Update at 12:04 p.m. ET:
Skydiver Felix Baumbartner is in his trailer getting into his
pressurized suit, further indication that the jump is likely to take
place today, according to the official website for the project.
post: Because the helium balloon is both expensive and non-reusable,
the team would not likely move so far along in the preparations unless
there was a good chance for a jump today, USA TODAY's Marco della Cava
If the team gets a final go-ahead, it will take them about two hours to inflate the balloon.
After liftoff aboard a helium balloon, it will take the 43-year-old
extreme athlete, encased in a pressurized capsule, about two hours to
reach his 120,000-foot jumping-off point.
After diving into the
stratosphere, Baumgartner is expected to reach a speed of 690 mph or
more before he activates his parachute at 9,500 feet above sea level,
or about 5,000 above the ground.
The total jump should take about 10 minutes.
spent Monday at his hotel, mentally preparing for the dive with his
parents, girlfriend and four close friends, according to team members,
the Associated Press reports.
Among the risks: Any contact with
the capsule on his exit could tear the pressurized suit. A rip could
expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as 70 degrees
below zero. It could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his
bodily fluids, a condition known as "boiling blood."
The record for a free-fall dive is 19.5 miles, set in 1960 by then Air Force pilot Joe Kittinger, who is a member of Baumgartner's team.
The 84-year-old Kittinger is the only member of mission control who will be allowed to talk to Baumgartner during the attempt.