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Oct 9, 2012 12:03 PM by Associated Press

Skydiver begins prep for supersonic jump

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - A weather hold that threatened to cancel extreme athlete and skydiver Felix Baumgartner's death-defying, 23-mile free fall into the southeastern New Mexico desert has been lifted.

The planned 7 a.m. launch Tuesday was delayed by high winds. But just before 9 a.m., the winds calmed and the team decided to proceed with plans to begin the launch, a process that would take about two hours.

Crews began laying out his balloon.

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 a jump.

He hopes it will make him the first skydiver to break the sound barrier and shatter three other world records.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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