Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s planned attempt to break the sound barrier in a free fall today was aborted due to unfavorable weather conditions. The mission is still on, but it’s not clear when that will happen. It could be tomorrow, later this week or later this month.
The plan is still the same: A helium-filled balloon will carry a capsule with Baumgartner inside to 23 miles above Earth. The trip takes less than three hours. Then, he’ll jump. The whole descent should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
The dangerous challenge is sponsored by Austrian energy drink Red Bull.
If all goes well, Baumgartner should break three records 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 and 36 seconds).
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