Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Mission Delayed, When Will The Live Space Jump Happen?

 @nadinedeninnon.deninno@ibtimes.com
on October 09 2012 10:25 AM

UPDATE (1:35 p.m. ET): Felix Baumgartner was put in the capsule at 1:30 p.m. ET in preparation for the launch at 1:35 p.m. 

Plans for Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking space jump Tuesday have been delayed. The space jump, sponsored by Red Bull Stratos, is on hold due to concerns about the weather.

Baumgartner's jump, which was expected to break the world record for the highest skydive as well as break the sound barrier, has been delayed from a scheduled launch time of 7 a.m. in Roswell, N.M.

Mission meteorologist Don Day said the winds closer to the ground were one to two miles per hour, but the winds were up to 20 miles per hour in the stratosphere.

"We need 3 mph or less at 800 feet," Day said, adding that chances of the dive happening today were "50-50."

Red Bull, which is sponsoring the jump, said the team can wait until 11:30 a.m. ET for the winds to die down to three miles per hour. The capsule can launch as late as 2 p.m. ET.

"We are going to stick it out for another couple of hours," Day said. "We've got everyone here. We are going to wait and see if we can take advantage of it.”

Day said if the launch does not happen on Tuesday, it will likely shift to Thursday.

The Red Bull Stratos website, in addition to a live stream, also has a live status blog update for the launch. By 10 a.m. ET, an alert said wind speeds were not optimal for the launch.

Baumgartner, 43, will attempt to break the record for the highest free-fall jump to the Earth at 120,000 feet, or nearly 23 miles, up in the air. If successful, Baumgartner will also break the sound barrier before landing in New Mexico wearing nothing but a space suit and helmet.

Before the jump, Baumgartner will ascend in a capsule in a helium balloon to the edge of space at 120,000 feet above ground. Then, “Fearless Felix,” as he has been nicknamed, will plunge toward Earth at speeds over 700 miles per hour. The first 115,000 feet, Baumgartner said, will hurtle by in five minutes. The remaining 5,000 feet will take another five minutes with the help of his parachute.

"I practiced this for so many years, and now, we are almost there, so this is my biggest dream," he said.

The only dangers that “Fearless Felix” face revolve around his suit, which if the pressure fails, could cause his lungs to burst and boil his blood due to rapid changes in the atomospheric pressures and temperatures in space. The extreme cold, uncontrolled spins, chute or life-support system failure pose also pose threats to the daredevil's life.

If Baumgartner succeeds, however, he will shatter several records, becoming the first person to break the speed of sound barrier in a free-fall dive from an altitude of 120,000 feet and embark on the longest free-fall at an estimated five minutes and 35 seconds.

 

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