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Thu Oct 30 14:13:39 SAST 2014

High winds delay Austrian daredevil's stratospheric skydive

Sapa-dpa | 14 October, 2012 15:47
Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria sits in his capsule prior to the final manned flight of Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, in this October 9, 2012 handout photo. Baumgartner's attempt to skydive from a height of 23 miles (37 km) was aborted due to high winds at the launch site.
Image by: HANDOUT / REUTERS

A fresh attempt by Austrian extreme sportsman Felix Baumgartner to perform the world’s highest-ever parachute jump was delayed due to high winds on Sunday.

Baumgartner was hoping to dive from a helium balloon above the desert at Roswell, in New Mexico, but strong winds have postponed the event until 1330 GMT.

A previous attempt on Tuesday was also postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

The 43-year-old is attempting to become the first person to reach supersonic speeds outside an aircraft and also break the world record for the highest-ever parachute jump set by a US Air Force pilot in 1960.

The winds are a crucial factor since even a small gust could potentially rip the massive helium-filled balloon designed to take Baumgartner, protected only by a pressurized suit, to the edge of space.

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