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Balloon diver hoping to finally break sound barrier today

Felix Baumgartner has already had two cancellations of his jump.

 Felix Baumgartner of Austria reacting after his mission was aborted in Roswell on Tuesday
Felix Baumgartner of Austria reacting after his mission was aborted in Roswell on Tuesday
Image: AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos, Joerg Mitter

Update: The jump is now expected to begin at around 3.45pm Irish time

AN EXTREME ATHLETE who’s striving to become the first skydiver in history to break the sound barrier has begun preparations for his record-setting jump.

Felix Baumgartner hopes no more last-minute cancellations will thwart his attempt at the 23-mile-high plunge over New Mexico.

The former Austrian paratrooper’s team have began unpacking the 30 million cubic foot helium balloon that will lift him to the stratosphere.

The jump was postponed on Monday and Tuesday because of unexpected winds.

Mission control officials say the three hour ascent is expected to begin today at 7:30 a.m Mountain Daylight Time, which is 2.30pm Irish time.

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If successful, “Fearless Felix” will break a 52-year-old altitude record by Joe Kittinger, who jumped from 19.5 miles and reached a speed of 614 mph, just under the sound barrier.

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Associated Press

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