Skydiver begins prep for supersonic jump

Posted at: 10/09/2012 11:26 AM
By: The Associated Press

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner is making final preparations for a death-defying, 23-mile free fall into the southeastern New Mexico desert, hoping to become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier.

The planned early morning launch had been delayed by high winds.

But shortly before 11 a.m. MDT, the 43-year-old former military parachutist from Austria entered his capsule and crews were beginning the hour-long process of filling the 55-story helium balloon that was to take him into the stratosphere for the jump.

Baumgartner spent Monday at his hotel, mentally preparing for the dangerous feat with his parents, girlfriend and a few close friends. His team said he had a light dinner of salmon and a salad, then had a massage.

He spent Tuesday morning resting in an Airstream trailer near the launch site.

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