Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner is preparing to attempt the highest-ever free fall to Earth.

The 43-year-old daredevil will break the sound barrier soon after jumping from a balloon 37km above the surface of the planet. Weather conditions are reported to be favourable, and Baumgartner's vessel is expected to launch between 1230GMT and 1500GMT.

The record-breaking mission is fraught with danger as the aviator floats to "the edge of space" before reaching about 1,110 kph on his five-minute descent to the New Mexico desert.

Al Jazeera's Tarek Bazley reports.