AP News

Meteorologist: supersonic skydive 'a go' on Sunday


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The weekend weather in New Mexico appears to be cooperating this time for a daredevil trying to become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier.

Meteorologist Don Day said the weather forecast remained favorable for former Austrian paratrooper Felix Baumgartner's jump, scheduled for early Sunday near Roswell, N.M.

Baumgartner will be prepared at sunrise to launch his 30 million cubic foot helium balloon to hoist a 3,000-pound capsule that will carry the jumper 23 miles up in the sky. The jump has already been canceled twice due to high winds, once damaging the balloon and forcing use of a backup for Sunday's planned launch.

Baumgartner will try to break a 1960 high-altitude parachuting record. He will also test a pressurized suit that is designed for stratospheric jumps.

He called Tuesday's postponement nerve-wracking but said Sunday's date is one already steeped in aviation history. On October 14, 1947, an experimental rocket plane Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time over Edwards Air Force Base in California.

"I want to break the speed of sound, no matter what it takes," he said in a statement. "As long as we have a spare balloon and more launch days, I'm good."


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