Skydiver postpones free fall record attempt

May 26, 2008 10:21:42 AM PDT
A French skydiver delayed plans Monday to free fall 130,000 feet from the stratosphere in a specially designed suit, helmet and parachute in a bid to break four records.A spokesperson said the delay was due to unfavorable wind conditions and that another attempt was to be made Tuesday.

Fournier, 64, wants to break the record for the fastest and longest free fall, the highest parachute jump and the highest balloon flight. He also hopes to bring back data that will help astronauts and others survive in the highest of altitudes.

An army of technicians, data crunchers, balloon and weather specialists arrived recently in North Battleford, a city of 14,000 near the Saskatchewan-Alberta boundary, for Fournier's third attempt.

The first two - in 2002 and 2003 - ended when wind gusts shredded his balloon before it even became airborne.

Fournier had planned to make the jump in his native France, but the government denied him permission because it believed the project was too dangerous. He then came to North Battleford, an agricultural and transportation hub northwest of Saskatoon.