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Extreme skydiver Felix Baumgartner calls off supersonic jump

  • An Austrian extreme skydiver was forced to call off his death-defying jump from a balloon 23 miles above the New Mexico desert on Tuesday due to winds at the launch site.

    Felix Baumgartner, a 43-year-old helicopter pilot, hot-air balloonist and professional skydiver, had been preparing to become the first human to break the sound barrier unaided by a vehicle.

    In the near vacuum at that altitude, he would have accelerated beyond 690mph within 40 seconds.

    His team announced the launch had been canceled just moments before Baumgartner's balloon was set to carry him over Roswell, New Mexico.

    "Mission aborted due to gusty winds," a statement on the website of sponsor Red Bull said.

    No further details were given.