Felix Baumgartner Cancels Test Jump
Skydiver attempting to break sound barrier
For the second consecutive day, Felix Baumgartner has called off the 17-mile test jump that is supposed to prepare him for a record-breaking 23-mile skydive planned for August. Officials for Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos project said that high winds prevented Monday’s and then Tuesday’s scheduled launch of the balloon that will take the skydiver 90,000 feet above earth. The jump will test the limits of a new pressurized suit that could allow astronauts to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere if their spacecraft failed. Baumgartner was due to become the first free-falling human to break the sound barrier in October 2010, but the jump was abruptly called off when he got cold feet. “I wasn’t afraid of the jump; it was the suit. After four years of hiding my anxiety, I had to admit that I was claustrophobic. It got so bad that I couldn’t eat or sleep the day before test runs,” Baumgartner said in the July issue of Outside.