Wind Derails Hypersonic Skydive From Space

Daredevil postpones 23-mile stunt
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2012 2:05 PM CDT
Wind Derails Hypersonic Skydive From Space
Felix Baumgartner disembarks from the balloon capsule after his mission was aborted in Roswell, N.M. on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

A healthy sense of his own mortality couldn't stop Felix Baumgartner from hurling himself from the stratosphere in an experimental spacesuit, but a little wind could. Baumgartner was planning to take a record-setting 23-mile dive today that would have given scientists their first look at the effect breaking the sound barrier would have on a human body, but the stunt was called off amidst winds that were too high for the massive-but-fragile balloon he was to dive from, the AP reports.

The launch was originally delayed from yesterday to today in the hopes of avoiding such problems. Baumgartner will try again, but it's unclear when. The balloon can only fly in winds of 2 mph or less, and today's winds reached as high as 20 mph. Even at the right winds, there are plenty of ways Baumgartner could die during the stunt, which is being sponsored and broadcast by Red Bull. "I'm not nuts," he tells CNN. "Of course I'm afraid of dying." (Read more Felix Baumgartner stories.)

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