ROSWELL, N.M. — Blame it on the wind. Again.

For the second straight day, extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner aborted his planned death-defying 23-mile free fall because of the weather, postponing his quest to become the world's first supersonic skydiver until at least Thursday.

As he sat Tuesday morning in the pressurized capsule waiting for a 55-story, ultra-thin helium balloon to fill and carry him into the stratosphere, a 25 mph gust rushed across a field near the airport in Roswell, N.M.

The wind rushed so fast that it spun the still-inflating balloon as if it was a giant plastic grocery bag, raising concerns at mission control about whether it was damaged from the jostling.

The balloon is so delicate that it can only take off if winds are 2 mph or below on the ground.

"Not knowing if the winds would continue or not, we made the decision to pull the plug," mission technical director Art Thompson said. Baumgartner's team said he has a second balloon and intends to try again.

Thompson said the earliest the team could take another shot would be Thursday because of weather and the need for the crew – which worked all night Monday – to get some rest.

The cancellation came a day after organizers postponed the launch because of high winds. They scheduled the Tuesday launch for 6:30 a.m. near the flat dusty town best known for a rumored UFO landing in 1947.

High winds kept the mission in question for hours.

When winds died down, Baumgartner, 43, suited up and entered the capsule. Crews began filling the balloon. A live online video feed showed a crane holding the silver capsule off the ground.

The team's discovery that it had lost one of two radios in the capsule and a problem with the capsule itself delayed the decision to begin filling the balloon, pushing the mission close to a noon cutoff for launch.

"It was just a situation where it took too long," mission meteorologist Don Day said.

After sitting fully suited up in his capsule for nearly 45 minutes, Baumgartner left the capsule and departed the launch site in his Airstream trailer without speaking to reporters.

The feat, sponsored by energy drink maker Red Bull, was supposed to be broadcast live on the Internet, using nearly 30 cameras on the capsule, the ground and a helicopter.

A 20-second delay would allow them to shut down the feed if an accident occurred.

The plan was for Baumgartner to make a nearly three-hour ascent to 120,000 feet, then take a bunny-style hop from the capsule into a near-vacuum where there is barely any oxygen to start his jump.

The jump poses many risks. Any contact with the capsule on his exit could tear the pressurized suit. A rip could expose him to a lack of oxygen and temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero. It could cause potentially lethal bubbles to form in his bodily fluids, a condition known as "boiling blood."

He could also spin out of control, causing other problems.

While Baumgartner hopes to set four new world records in all when he jumps, his dive is more than just a stunt.

His free fall should provide scientists with valuable information for next-generation spacesuits and techniques that could help astronauts survive accidents.

Currently, spacesuits are certified to protect astronauts to 100,000 feet, the level former Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger reached in his 1960 free-fall record from 19.5 miles.

Kittinger's speed of 614 mph was just shy of breaking the sound barrier at that altitude.

Baumgartner expects to hit 690 mph, if and when the wind cooperates enough to give him the chance to jump.

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Follow Jeri Clausing at . http://twitter.com/jericlausing

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  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner is scheduled to attempt the highest parachute jump of all time on Oct. 9, 2012. Here, Baumgartner performs during the first high altitude test jump from an airplane in Taft, California on February 20, 2012.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner during the high altitude test jump.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner during a test jump from a helicopter, April 13, 2009.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner leaps off the 508-meter high Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan on December 11, 2008.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner at the top of the Christ the Redeemer Statue near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 3, 2001. Before Stratos, Baumgartner was best known as a skydiver and BASE jumper.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner during the first manned test flight of the capsule, February 23, 2012.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    The mission control during the first manned test flight.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    The Roswell, New Mexico launch location of the first test flight.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner during the first test flight.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    The capsule just before the second manned test flight, July 25, 2012.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    The capsule in the pressure chamber at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    The interior of the capsule in Lancaster, California on February 1, 2012.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner during wind tunnel test on February 26, 2010.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Retired Air Force Colonel Joe Kittinger with Baumgartner during a press conference in Salzburg, Austria on April 23, 2012. Kittinger holds the record for the highest-altitude jump, which he set in 1960. He is an advisor for the Stratos project and will relay messages to and from Baumgartner during the October jump attempt.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Kittinger just prior to his record setting jump from 102.800 feet in 1960. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Kittinger

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner undergoes scientific tests in Los Angeles, USA on June 11, 2012.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Screen shows brain waves of Baumgartner during scientific test session.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner during the first manned test flight.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner inside the capsule prior to the second manned test flight.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Baumgartner during training session in Lancaster, California, on February 22, 2012.

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    Crew members prepare the capsule for the second manned test flight.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Crew members fill the balloon with helium before the second manned test flight.

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    Baumgartner steps out of the capsule during the second manned test flight.

  • Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt

    Mission Coordinator Mike Jacobs (L) and Kittinger (R) work during the second manned test flight.