Home Science Space Fearless Felix cancels 23-mile skydive for October 10, 2012
Fearless Felix cancels 23-mile skydive for October 10, 2012 Featured

For the second day in a row, Austrian skydiver and base jumper Felix Baumgartner had to cancel his record-setting, supersonic free fall from a balloon 23 miles in the sky because of weather, the winds were just too gusty on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, to make another attempt.

So, the next attempt will be Thursday, October 11, 2012, to become the first human-propelled traveler at supersonic speeds, those at speeds faster than sound through air.

The speed of sound is the distance travelled during a unit of time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium. Usually measured in dry air at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees F), the speed of sound is 343.2 meters per second (1,126 feet per second).

In other measurements, the speed of sound is 1,236 kilometers per hour (768 miles per hour), or approximately one kilometer in three seconds, or about one mile in five seconds.

This attempt, as with the others, comes from an airport in Roswell, New Mexico. When Baumgartner does jump out of his capsule and free-falls towards Earth, he hopes to go faster than sound, and attain a speed of 690 miles per hour.

However, to do this, the weather has to cooperate. The biggest factor is the balloon used to ascend into the sky. The balloon that Baumgartner uses is so thin that it will work only if the winds are 2 miles per hour or less on the ground.

In this photo, above, provided by Red Bull Stratos, Felix Baumgartner makes a 25,000-foot high test jump for Red Bull Stratos. ((AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos, Luke Aikins))

For LIVE coverage of this event live, please check out the Tuesday, October 9, 2012 article “Fearless Felix” Baumgartner skydive: Watch it live".

According to the Laramie Boomerang article "Skydiver cancels 2nd try at supersonic jump in NM" this feat by Baumgaratner is more than a daredevil stunt. It states, "While Baumgartner hopes to set four new world records in all when he jumps, his dive is more than just a stunt. His free fall should provide scientists with valuable information for next-generation spacesuits and techniques that could help astronauts survive accidents."


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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University