Thousands tuned in online Tuesday morning as Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner prepared to attempt what would be a record-breaking freefall jump from a lofty altitude of 120,000 feet.
Strong winds aloft, however, delayed the attempt, in which Baumgartner seeks to become the first person ever to break the sound barrier while in freefall.
To complete the feat, a team of engineers has constructed a 2,900-pound sealed capsule connected to a helium balloon that is intended to carry Baumgartner during his ascent 23 miles above the earth.
That journey is slated to take three hours, after which Baumgartner will inflate his pressure suit before attempting to exit the capsule and break Joe Kittinger’s freefall record of 102,800 feet, which has stood for more than five decades.
The prep work behind the attempt – which poses a number of serious risks – has been underway for years.