Skydiver Cancels 23-Mile Jump Over NM Today [LIVE VIDEO]
Extreme athlete and skydiver Felix Baumgartner has canceled his planned death-defying 23-mile free fall into the New Mexico desert because of high winds.
The 43-year-old former military parachutist from Austria had hoped to become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier and shatter three other world records.
But the weather on Tuesday forced his team to cancel his planned ascent in a 55-story, ultra-thin helium balloon that was to take him to the stratosphere.
Because the balloon is so delicate, it could only take flight if winds were 2 mph or below.
Baumgartner spent Monday at his hotel, mentally preparing for the dangerous feat with his parents, girlfriend and a few close friends, his team said. He had a light dinner of salmon and a salad, then had a massage. He spent Tuesday morning resting in an
Airstream trailer near the launch site.
Among the risks: Any contact with the capsule on his exit could have torn the pressurized suit. A rip could have exposed him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero. It could have caused potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids, a condition known as "boiling blood."
He could also have spin out of control, causing other risky problems.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)