Update: The mission has been canceled Tuesday due to high winds with plans of trying again as soon as Wednesday.
Skydiver Felix Baumgartner has plans to free fall into New Mexican desert Monday. The New York Times reported that Baumgartner who is a 43-year-old former paratrooper from Austria, plans to step off a balloon capsule and free fall for five and a half minutes until his parachute opens. A balloon will take him up 23 miles up, the edge of space.
"If all goes as planned, he will do a series of barrel rolls in the near-vacuum of the stratosphere and then plunge headfirst at more than 700 miles per hour, becoming the first sky diver to break the sound barrier," reported the New York Times.
Fox News reported that the weather however has threatned to cancel the jump. The early morning jump was delayed because of high winds, Fox News reports.
But before 9 a.m. the winds have calmed down and prep has begun for the flight, which is a process that takes approximately two hours.
'Fear has become a friend of mine. It's what prevents me from stepping too far over the line," Baumgarnter has said according th Fox News.
If the mission occurs, Fox News reported that Baumgartner will take an almost three hour uphill descent to 120,000 feet then simply jump off the capusule into "a near-vacuum where there is barely any oxygen to begin what is expected to be the fastest, farthest free fall from the highest-ever manned balloon."
With this jump there are myriad risks. "With the capsule on his exit could tear the pressurized suit. A rip could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero. It could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids, a condition known as "boiling blood," Fox New reports.
Another issue that could occur is if he spins out of control.
Performance director Andy Walshe said to Fox News, "With these big moments, you get a kind of sense that the energy changes," he said Monday. "It really is just kind of a heightened energy. It keeps you on your toes. It's not nervousness, it's excitement."
BBC News reported that because of wind conditions take-off will occur no earlier than 11:30 Roswell, New Mexico local time.
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