Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria seen before his jump at the first manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico on March 15, 2012.
Credit: Jay Nemeth/Red Bull Content Pool
After two delays due to high wind, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner will attempt a record-breaking dive from the edge of space today (Oct. 14), weather permitting.
The 55-story balloon will lift off from Roswell, N.M., known for a rumored UFO crash. The plan for Baumgartner, 43, is to ascend to an altitude of 120,000 feet (36,600 meters) in a pressurized capsule suspended from the high-altitude balloon. Once there, at the edge of space, Baumgartner will step out to begin his 5.5-minute freefall back to planet Earth. Within some 40 seconds his speed will ramp up enough to break the sound barrier, a first-time feat by a freefall skydiver.
If all goes as planned, Baumgartner would topple a record reached in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Col. Joseph Kittinger, who made a similar jump from a lower altitude -- 102,800 feet (31,000 m). And he may do it on the 65th anniversary of the first supersonic flight by Chuck Yeager in the X-1 rocket plane in 1947, according to SPACE.com, a sister site of LiveScience.