Felix Baumgartner: first space jump attempt ‘a total disappointment’


Daredevil Felix Baumgartner cannot hide his disappointment after his first attempt at skydiving from the stratosphere was cancelled at the last moment due to high winds. The Austrian and the Red Bull Stratos project team were forced to call off the death-defying skydive due to gusty winds at the launch site in the New Mexico desert. Baumgartner, a 43-year-old helicopter pilot, hot-air balloonist and professional skydiver, had been preparing to break a longstanding altitude record. But his team announced the launch had been aborted moments after Baumgartner’s balloon was set to carry him the 23 miles (37km) over Roswell, New Mexico. “That was a total disappointment, honestly. But as long as we have a spare balloon, and as long as we have more launch opportunities, I’m good,” Baumgartner said later. As he falls from 120,000 feet (36,576m) Baumgartner would also break the sound barrier. With virtually no air to resist his fall, he was expected to reach the speed of sound, which is 690mph (1,110kph) at that altitude, after about 35 seconds of freefall.