Red Bull Stratos Jump by Felix Baumgartner: Interesting Facts & Statistics
Even while watching the video, my heart was pounding hard !
BUT YOU HAVE DONE IT FELIX ! HATS OFF !
Red Bull Stratos Actual Mission Video:
Red Bull Stratos Full Mission Facts
Austrian Felix Baumgartner dived from edge of space safely to not only break world records but collect invaluable data which will help all space flights and astronaut safety cause in the future. Some facts about the historic event:
- Man breaks sound barrier in Freefall: Felix reached an estimated speed of *833.9 mph / 1,342.8 km/h (Mach 1.24). This preliminary figure would make him the first man to break the speed of sound in freefall and set more records* while delivering valuable data for space exploration. This comes exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket powered airplane.
- World Record for Highest Manned Balloon Flight and Highest Free Fall: Felix broke the world record for highest manned balloon flight after reaching an altitude of 128,100 feet (39,045 meters) in a helium-filled balloon. This also gives the 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert a world record for highest freefall
- He could not however break the longest freefall record which still remains with his Red Bull Stratos project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.
The Red Bull Stratos was an incredible up and down today, just like it’s been with the whole project.
- After a beautiful launch there was a power supply issue to Felix Baumgartner’s visor
- The exit was perfect but then Felix started spinning: first slowly but then speedily up. Felix himself thought for a few seconds that he would lose consciousness because of that. This did not let him feel a sonic boom because he was so busy just trying to stabilize himself.
Red Bull Stratos: Another record broken (quite comprehensively)
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[More about the event and earlier updates]
What is the Red Bull Stratos ?
Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space which will attempt to transcend human limits that have existed for 50 years. Felix Baumgartner (supported by a team of experts) plans to ascend to 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon and make a freefall jump rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground. His attempt to dare atmospheric limits holds the potential to provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers. The Red Bull Stratos team brings together the world’s leading minds in aerospace medicine, engineering, pressure suit development, capsule creation and balloon fabrication. It includes retired United States Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who holds three of the records Felix will strive to break.
What does the Red Bull Stratos Mission attempts to do
- To Reach Supersonic Speed in Freefall: First person to break the speed of sound and achieve Mach 1 in freefall, estimated 690 mph, with further acceleration possible
- Freefall from Highest Altitude: Expected jump from 120,000 ft
- Longest Freefall Time: Expected freefall of 5 minutes, 35 seconds or more,
- Highest Manned Balloon Flight: Expected ascent to 120,000 ft
- Felix Baumgartner fully loaded weighs 260 pounds wearing specialized equipment for a supersonic freefall. He’s protected head to toe in a pressurized space suit.
- The 12-pound chest pack contains monitoring, tracking and communications systems. Critical data during the jump will be transmitted to mission control in real time.
- The pressurized capsule weighs as much as a VW Beetle (2,900 lbs). A helium-filled balloon will lift the capsule and Felix at about 1,000 ft per minute. That’s a better climb rate than you’d get with a single engine 150 hp airplane.
- As the balloon ascends the temperature decreases with height up to the tropopause. In the stratosphere the temperature actually increases with height. This warming comes from ozone molecules absorbing ultraviolet light from the sun.
- Once launched, Felix will float to 120,000 ft in less than 3 hours. The 30-million-cubic-foot helium balloon is 1/10 the thickness of a Ziploc bag, yet weighs more than 3,000 pounds. Stretched out it would cover about 40 acres.
- Before Felix leaves the safety of his pressurized capsule, he will wait for a final “clear to jump” from mission control. Once he depressurizes and detaches hoses, he must jump. In an emergency he could ride the capsule back to earth unpressurized but with limited oxygen reserves.
- Felix pays special attention to step off from the capsule. Due to the lack of atmosphere below, nothing will slow him down. A stable body position is key to preventing an uncontrollable spin and possible loss of consciousness.
- Felix is likely to reach the speed of sound within 40 seconds from 120,000 ft. As he moves away from the edge of space and closer to the troposphere, the atmosphere becomes thicker as it holds more air molecules.
- The delta position (head down) is best for stability, decreased drag, and attempt to break the speed of sound.
- As Felix falls closer to the troposphere, where airliners fly, the air molecules are multiplying which acts as a gradual brake when he comes thundering through the sky at supersonic speeds.
- Felix deploys his parachute at 5,000 ft. From this point he has 10-15 minutes before reaching the ground. His total time in the air from the edge of space to Earth: 15-20 minutes.
- As Felix falls closer to earth, air molecules continue to increase acting as a gradual brake as he thunders through the sky. He must slow to 172 mph before opening his parachute. Worst-case scenario, his reserve chute will open automatically.
- Baumgartner expects to hit 690 mph, if and when the wind cooperates enough to give him the chance to jump.
- 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.
- 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.
Similar Attempts Earlier
- Former Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger jumped from 102,800 ft in 1960
- Kittinger’s speed of 614 mph was just shy of breaking the sound barrier at that altitude.
- Joe’s record jump from 102,800 ft in 1960 was during a time when no one knew if a human could survive a jump from the edge of space.
- Joe was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and had already taken a balloon to 97,000 feet in Project ManHigh and survived a drogue mishap during a jump from 76,400 feet in Excelsior I. The Excelsior III mission was his 33rd parachute jump.
- Although researching extremes was part of the program’s goals, setting records wasn’t the mission’s purpose. Joe ascended in helium balloon launched from the back of a truck. He wore a pressurized suit on the way up in an open, unpressurized gondola.
- Scientific data captured from Joe’s jump was shared with U.S. research personnel for development of the space program. Today Felix and his specialized team hope to take what was learned from
- Joe’s jumps more than 50 years ago and press forward to test the edge of the human envelope.
Red Bull Stratos 96000 Ft Test Jump