Sunday, Oct. 14 could be the day daredevil Felix Baumgarnter skydives from 120,000 feet. Meteorologist Don Day, who has been overseeing weather conditions for the project, said Sunday looks favorable, with a likely window in the early morning hours — 6:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.
It’s hopeful news for Baumgarnter and his crew, particularly after coming so close during the week, before eventually delaying the jump because of high winds. The apprehension isn’t necessarily due to Baumgartner experiencing high winds when freefaaling — that’s a given. It’s the delicacy of the 55-story balloon. Any winds over 2 miles per hour poses a problem, making it difficult to lift off and control, let alone avoid damaging the balloon.
The previous ballon from earlier in the week was rendered unusable after being hit by gusty winds. The team plans on using a backup on Sunday.
As before, if all goes according to plan, Baumgartner will leap from 23 miles above Earth, breaking the previous 19-mile record set back in 1960 by Joe Kittinger. Kittinger, incidentally, is a big part of Baumgartner’s team, and was equally disappointed that the launch didn’t go through on Tuesday.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the Red Bull Stratos’s mission progress, as always. It’s a pretty incredible stunt to attempt, but it has its merits in the scientific community, Space wrote, “collecting data that could help enable high-altitude escapes from spacecraft.”