The balloon is in the air. Felix Baumgartner is about to jump 120,000 feet into the desert around Roswell, New Mexico. If successful, he'll be the first man ever to achieve supersonic speeds without any sort of mechanical propulsion.
High winds stopped Baumgartner's attempt on Tuesday, but it looks like the skies are clear enough for him to jump this morning. Watch the live video stream here:
And here's some additional info, from our post on the Red Bull Stratos jump Tuesday:
Weather has pushed his jump back several times today, but the Austrian is now all set to attempt a death-defying, 23-mile free fall into the New Mexico desert at 1:30 pm EST. Baumgartner will be taking off in a ultra-thin helium balloon that will go up to three times the height of commercial jetliners, taking him into the realm of space called the stratosphere. There, he'll hop from the balloon into a pressurized capsule and begin the farthest free fall in human history, attempting to become the first skydiver ever to break the sound barrier in the process.
There's a crew of scientists and NASA men helping him out, but Baumgartner's success is by no means assured. He could tear his pressurized suit, which would expose him to a lack of oxygen and possibly cause his blood to boil, obviously killing him. He could fall victim to the fast speeds and spin out of control, which would make opening a parachute difficult. So this could get ugly. The good news, however, is that he's not just doing this for his personal glory: The jump will deliver valuable scientific and medical data, while possibly allowing NASA to certify a new type of space suit.