Roswell: Adverse weather conditions reportedly forced the Austrian skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, to abort his sky dive attempt from the edge of space on Tuesday.
According to Baumgartner's team, the presence of strong winds in the high teens at about 700 feet could cause the capsule to bounce along the ground, as per reports.
Robert Hager, commentator for the mission, said if the weather hold is lifted, it would take about an hour and half to get the balloon filled and Baumgartner secured in his capsule to make the mission, which has already been delayed one day by high winds.
The balloon had been scheduled to launch about 7 am from a field near the airport in a flat dusty town that until now has been best known for a rumored 1947 UFO landing.
After a nearly three-hour descent to 120,000 feet, Baumgartner planned to take a bunny-style hop from a pressurized capsule into a near-vacuum where there is barely any oxygen to begin what is expected to be the fastest, farthest free fall from the highest-ever manned balloon.
Among the risks: any contact with the capsule on his exit could tear the pressurized suit. A rip could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero. It could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids, a condition known as "boiling blood."
He could also spin out of control, causing other risky problems.
While Baumgartner hopes to set four new world records, his free fall is more than just a stunt.
His dive from the stratosphere should provide scientists with valuable information for next-generation spacesuits and techniques that could help astronauts survive accidents.
Jumping from more than three times the height of the average cruising altitude for jetliners, Baumgartner's expect to hit a speed of 690 mph or more before he activates his parachute at 9,500 feet above sea level, or about 5,000 above the ground in southeastern New Mexico.
(With Agency Inputs)
First Published: Tuesday, October 09, 2012, 10:18