Skydiver calls off jump from edge of space

by | Oct 9, 2012 | Biz/Tech

By Patricia Brotzel

Felix Baumgartner is making a super sonic skydive attempt. COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Austria’s “Fearless” Felix Baumgartner was poised Tuesday to take a record-breaking jump into space – but the event was called off.

The jump was scheduled to take place Tuesday morning over New Mexico, but was postponed after weather delays and communications issues.

The mission was to have begun with a three-hour journey in a capsule, according to the sponsor, Red Bull Stratos.

Baumgartner was to have travelled 37 kilometres above the earth’s surface, where he would have taken a bunny style hop into space.

The position of his body during the jump is crucial to the attempt.

David Keevers, an instructor with Skydive Toronto said Tuesday that the initial step out of a plane or a capsule can represent many things, but the feeling is the same.

“It’s letting go, its relaxation, no matter how crappy your job is, how poor, or even how rich you are, it’s a great leveler,” Keevers told Humber News.

Joe Kitteninger embarked on a similar mission in 1959 where a misstep on the initial jump sent him tumbling and spinning unconscious in space, CBC News reported.

If the mission eventually goes ahead, Baumgartner is expected to reach the speed of sound within 40 seconds, due to the thin air and lack of resistance.

He will take the trip back to earth in a ridged, pressurized space suite, designed to protect him from atmospheric pressure that could cause lethal bubbles in his bodily fluids, otherwise known as boiling blood, according to CBC.

Nobody has broken the sound barrier with their body before and medical experts are uncertain what the effects may be, his medial director Dr. Jonathan Clark told CBC.

Baumgartner hold records for several other jumps, including the lowest recorded BASE jump, which he took from Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.

The Red Bull Stratos team was not available to comment to Humber News on Tuesday. Media contact Derrick Lerum said they were “filling up the helium balloon.”