Oct 14, 2012 11:11 AM by Garrett Boyd

Skydiver gets ready for bid to break sound barrier

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ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - The team working with an extreme athlete who hopes to become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier is inflating the balloon that is designed to lift him to the stratosphere.

Felix Baumgartner has donned his high-tech pressurized suit and is on board a 3000-pound capsule that will be lifted by the balloon near Roswell, N.M.

The former Austrian paratrooper's jump was postponed twice last week because of high winds.

Mission control officials say the 30 million cubic foot balloon will be fully inflated by 10:00 a.m. MDT, when the three-hour ascent is expected to begin.

If successful, "Fearless Felix" will break a 52-year-old altitude record by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from 19.5 miles (31 kilometers) and reached a speed of 614 mph (988 kph), just under the sound barrier.


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