14 Oct 2012

Austrian skydiver hopes to break altitude record

10:07 pm on 14 October 2012

An Austrian skydiver hopes to end a week-long delay on Sunday and jump from a balloon 37 kilometres above the planet.

Felix Baumgartner, 43, aims to break a 52-year-old altitude record and the sound barrier in the process.

He and his team are evaluating the weather in Roswell, New Mexico, from where his massive but extremely delicate helium balloon will be launched.

High winds scrapped launch attempts throughout this past week.

Felix Baumgartner's ascent into the stratosphere should take two and a half to three hours.

His descent should last just 15 to 20 minutes, more than half of it beneath the relative safety of his parachute's canopy.