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Abort! Abort! Record supersonic parachute jump postponed due to high wind

Oct 9, 2012, 2:23 PM EDT

Felix Baumgartner AP

Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner has a simple plan: climb into a space capsule that’s attached to a helium balloon, soar 23 miles above the surface of the Earth and then jump out. His hurtling body should break the sound barrier, which would make him the first to reach supersonic speed in free fall. Godspeed, you magnificent insane person.

But that’s all on hold right now, as Baumgartner’s mission was aborted earlier today due to high wind gusts at the launch sire in Roswell, N.M. The team is unsure when it will be rescheduled (it could be as early as Wednesday).

If you’d like to see photos of what it looks like for a man in a spacesuit to jump from a capsule several miles above the Earth, here you go: Baumgartner did it from 19.5 miles up back in March of this year. That was a test run for this record attempt.

Baumgartner is trying to break three records, all set by former Air Force test pilot Joseph Kittinger in 1960: the first to reach supersonic speed in free fall (current record: 614 mph), the highest altitude jump (current record: 102,800 feet) and the longest free fall time (current record: 4 minutes, 36 seconds). Kittinger, by the way, is now part of Baumgartner’s mission control team.

As a rule, I never engage in any sport that involves a “mission control team.”

  1. anotheryx - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    And I thought it got postponed because it was batshit insane…