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Wind delays world record skydive attempt

Published: 10:45AM Monday October 08, 2012 Source: ONE News

Daredevil Felix Baumgartner's attempt to break the world record for the highest altitude skydive has been delayed until Wednesday morning.

Baumgartner, 43, plans to free-fall to Earth from a space capsule, lifted 35,576 metres by a helium-filled balloon.

The launch mission was scheduled to take place this morning, but has been delayed due to a strong cold front, low clouds and some drizzle over Baumgartner's base station in Roswell, New Mexico.

However, the delay has not influenced preparations on site, and over the weekend, Baumgartner and his team have gone through the seven hour pre-launch procedure exactly as it will occur on Wednesday morning (New Zealand time).

The jump will be screened live on TV ONE and from 1.20 am on Wednesday morning

Baumgartner will launch the largest manned balloon in history, 168 metres high at the start with a volume of 850, 000 cubic metres.

Meteorologist Don Day forecasts wind speeds to be between 8 to 16 km per hour.

"The good news is that we usually have a day or two after this type of cold front moves through where the weather can be favorable for a balloon launch," Day said.

Baumgartner has been training for five years to break the 31,333 metre record for highest-altitude jump, set by Joe Kittinger 52 years ago.

Last week, the Austrian said that he was "ready" to make the attempt.

The jump will also attempt to break an assortment of records including highest speed in freefall, highest jump, highest manned balloon flight and longest freefall.

Baumgartner is one of the world's most celebrated B.A.S.E. jumpers and extreme athletes and in 2003 became the first person to make a freefall flight across the English Channel with the aid of a carbon wing.

The project also aims to collect valuable data for science that could help improve the safety of space travel and enable high-altitude escapes from spacecraft.