NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Michel Fournier began final preparations Saturday for a stunt that will, should all go well, end in the pre-dawn darkness Monday with him rising slowly in a helium-powered balloon pod until he can touch the very void of space - and then step off.
The 64-year-old French skydiver aims to free fall 40,000 metres (130,000 feet) from the stratosphere in a specially designed suit, helmet and parachute to advance the cause of science and, in the process, break four free fall records.
"The jump, based on weather conditions, is planned for Monday 4 a.m. local time," Francine Lecompte-Gittins, spokesperson for the jump, said in an e-mail Saturday.
She is one of an army of technicians, data crunchers, balloon and weather specialists who have arrived at this city of 14,000 near the Saskatchewan-Alberta boundary for Fournier's third attempt.