Daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s 1110 km/h free fall from Earth’s stratosphere resumes launch plan after delays
A weather hold that threatened to cancel extreme athlete and skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s death-defying, 37 kilometre free fall into the southeastern New Mexico desert was lifted Tuesday morning and crews began laying out his balloon.
The planned early morning launch had been delayed by high winds. But just before 11 a.m. EST (1500 GMT), the winds calmed and the team decided to proceed with plans to make the flight, a process that would take about two hours.
The 43-year-old former military parachutist from Austria plans to take off in a 55-story, ultra-thin and easy-to-tear helium balloon that will take him into the stratosphere for the jump. He hopes it will make him the first skydiver to break the sound barrier and shatter three other world records. (Jay Nemeth/Red Bull via Getty Images; AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos, Luke Aikins)
UPDATE: Daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s 1110 km/h free fall from Earth’s stratosphere on hold due to high winds
Nik Wallenda to become first person to walk tightrope over Niagara Falls
In a stunning about-face, the Niagara Parks Commission now says it will allow seventh-generation daredevil Nik Wallenda to be the first person to walk a tightrope wire across the Horseshoe Falls this summer.
The commission had initially blocked the 32-year-old’s bid, citing a 128-year-old act that prohibits “stunting” in a municipality that counts people hurling themselves over the falls in a barrel as part of its lore. But the parks commission made an exception to the rule and reversed its decision, saying the economic benefits of the Wallenda event will far outweigh any other concerns.
“I feel like I’m extremely blessed,” he told the National Post by phone after the meeting. “There was a lump in my throat until about 11:30 this morning,” when the new decision came down.
The Niagara Parks Commission was the only thing standing in the way of what will become a high point of Mr. Wallenda’s career as a daredevil and scion of the ‘Flying Wallenda’ family of high-wire walkers.