FELIX BAUMGARTNER arrived at the launch site in Roswell, NM when he got the news from meteorologist Don Day. The launch of the mission to the edge of space will not take place on Monday as scheduled, but most probably on Tuesday.
The reason for the delay is a strong cold front with sharply colder temperatures, low clouds and some drizzle that will be moving through eastern New Mexico over the weekend. While the weather will greatly improve on Monday with clearing skies and warmer temperatures, wind speeds are expected to be above acceptable levels for a safe launch on Monday morning. Wind speeds are forecast to be between 8 to 16 km/h/ 5 to 10 mph from the with winds above the ground at balloon top between 16 to 24 km/h/ 10 to 15 mph, Red Bull Stratos meteorologist Don Day explains. Baumgartner will launch with the largest manned balloon in history: 550 feet/ 168 meters high at the start with a volume of 30 million cubic feet/ 850.000 cubic meters!
“The good news is that we usually have a day or two after this type of cold front moves through where the weather can be favorable for a balloon launch“, Don Day says.
The delay does not influence the preparations on site. In the dress rehearsal in the night from Friday to Saturday, Felix Baumgartner and the team will go through the 7-hour pre-launch procedure exactly as it will occur on Tuesday morning.
I hope for the best!