ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner suited up in a full pressure suit equipped with parachutes and oxygen to take his second stratospheric leap over Roswell Wednesday morning.
Wednesday's jump from 96,640 feet--more than 18 miles--marks the second one by the 43-year-old "Fearless Felix" in preparation for a record-breaking high-altitude jump set for next month.
Crew members filled up the massive balloon with helium at the flight line at the Roswell International Air Center.
This beast of a balloon is as tall as a skyscraper and carries a specially designed capsule. The entire rig is carefully carried to the flight line by a crane.
Baumgartner's first jump also took place in Roswell back in March. That balloon was about a quarter of the size of the balloon used Wednesday.
Wednesday's launch was delayed twice because of thunderstorms, wind and rain. Surface winds can be no greater than 4 mph, but when Baumgartner did finally get off the ground it took an hour and a half to reach peak altitude
On the way down, he took a 3-minute 48-second free fall and reached speeds of 536 mph.
The free fall next month will be from 120,000 feet or 23 miles. Baumgartner will also attempt to break the speed of sound with just his body.
If successful, that jump would finally break the record of 102,800 feet set 52 years ago by Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger, Baumgartner's mentor. Kittinger jumped for the Air Force.
Kittinger was also there Wednesday at the mini-mission control in Roswell to watch Baumgartner land safely.
After his feet were on the ground, Baumgartner hugged Kittinger and said, "Only one more step to go."
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