The skydiving stunt that many have been biting their nails to see was cancelled today. The official announcements were actually made from Red Bull that they would be postponing Felix Baumgartner’s massive balloon launch into the atmosphere due to high winds. The winds were even stronger at the 700 foot level.
It was reported from Roswell, New Mexico that the balloon had a maximum wind rate of 3 miles per hour. The winds were reaching 20 mph hour at the top of the balloon which is extremely fragile and can’t handle high winds. The helium balloon requires low wind speeds and reaches nearly 55 stories tall.
Felix Baumgartner was scheduled to jump from 120,000 feet from the edge of a capsule that was specifically designed for this stunt. It would be the first time that any human outside of an airplane would break the sound barrier and was expected to provide scientists with heaps of data that would be useful.
The risks of the jump were almost endless with the most scary one being the “blood boiling” issue if Mr. Baumgartner were to damage his suit and lose pressure. Oxygen is almost non-existent in the 120,000 feet range and the temperature is way below zero.
The official statement from Red Bull on their Red Bull Stratos Live watch page was the following:
“Today, the launch of the Red Bull Stratos capsule had to be stopped at 11:42 a.m. local time in Roswell, New Mexico just before Felix Baumgartner’s giant 30 million cubic foot balloon had been fully inflated and made ready for take off. From early morning the team postponed the launch due to strong winds at 700 feet – the balloon’s top – waiting for the right weather window to open. The launch was scheduled for 11:40 a.m., the balloon inflation had begun, and then gusty winds picked up and made a launch impossible.”
On the official website no mentions of rescheduling the jump were made with any times or dates. However on the Red Bull Stratos Mission Facebook Page mentions of announcements of new times were brought up. The statement said, “UPDATE: The Red Bull Stratos launch today was aborted due to strong winds. We’ll keep you updated on possible new launch days.” So now the public awaits the moment to see history made with a free fall from 120,000 feet and a man breaking the sound barrier with his own body. For updates the Facebook page or the official website seem to be the best place to get the freshest news on the jump.
Supersonic Freefall – Red Bull Stratos CGI Demo
In October of 2012, Felix Baumgartner will attempt a record-breaking freefall jump from 120,000 feet – 23 miles – above the earth as part of Red Bull Stratos: a mission to the edge of space. The attempt will take place near Roswell, NM, USA, and if successful, Felix Baumgartner could be the first person to break the speed of sound with his own body, protected only by a space suit. As no one has successfully jumped from this height before, it’s uncertain what the highest supersonic freefall in history will look or feel like. This animated video gives us a sense of what to expect when the history-making jump takes place later this summer when the weather is best for a launch. A live webcast of the Red Bull Stratos 120,000 foot freefall will air on http://redbullstratos.com