Skip to comments.Felix Baumgartner Unveils Mission to the Edge of Space (video)
Posted on 01/23/2010 6:55:38 AM PST by yoe
Pilot Felix Baumgartner will announce today at 9 a.m. EST his intention to expand the boundaries of aerospace exploration by attempting to become the first person ever to break the speed of sound with the human body. Baumgartner hopes to ascend in a capsule lifted by a helium balloon to the upper reaches of the stratosphere to at least 120,000 feet and, protected by a full-pressure space suit, launch a freefall jump that could exceed Mach 1.0 more than 690 miles per hour before parachuting to Earth. If successful, the Red Bull Stratos mission hopes to establish four world records; the data captured by the missions world-leading scientists could promise new standards in aerospace safety and enhanced possibilities for human flight.
United States Air Force Colonel (Ret.) Joseph Kittinger, who in 1960 launched a stratospheric jump from 102,800 feet that opened the door for space exploration, and whose records Baumgartner aims to break, introduced the Austrian pilot to media from around the world during a briefing in New York City.
People have been trying to break my records for fifty years, and many have died in the attempt, Kittinger said. But I believe that with our unique assets, an extraordinary mission team, the dedication of Red Bull, and Felix Baumgartners outstanding skills, Red Bull Stratos will succeed.
Kittinger, Baumgartner (best known for being the first person to fly across the English Channel with a carbon wing in 2003), Red Bull Stratos Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Clark and Technical Project Director Art Thompson provided an overview of the mission, which will we will expect to launch in North America with a target launch date in 2010.
This is truly a step into the unknown. No one can accurately predict how the human body will react in the transition to supersonic speeds, said Baumgartner. But weve got to find out. Future aerospace programs need a way for pilots and astronauts to bail out at high altitude in case of emergency.
Clark, who served as a crew surgeon for six Space Shuttle missions, confirmed that data captured from the mission will be shared with the scientific community, and noted that he expects long-awaited medical protocols to be established as a result. He also commented, I think one of the most profound benefits of Red Bull Stratos is going to be the inspiration for our youth The kind of stuff Felix is doing is like the early astronauts and cosmonauts.
Red Bull Stratos has secured specialized technical communications from Riedel Communications that will facilitate the coverage of the Red Bull Stratos mission with a live TV broadcast and live webcast delivered by Microsoft Silverlight. In parallel the mission will also be streamed on mobile platforms through a mobile application powered by Ovi by Nokia. Global broadcaster, the BBC, will produce a special 90-minute documentary, which will air exclusively in the US on the National Geographic Channel and be distributed globally to national broadcasters by BBC Worldwide.
(The Red Bull Stratos trailer)
I’ve met Joe Kiitinger. He’s an Orlando resident (or was). He is quite a character.
This is silly. The reason given is scientific... to study the effects of supersonic flight on the human body. Right. Ever heard of a wind tunnel?This is a dare devil stunt, nothing more.
You are correct.
The bigger accomplishment will be if he can avoid bumping into failbama’s ego, on the way down. I don’t think even the edge of space is large enough to contain it.
So Red Bull really does give you wings ?
It doesn't need to be anything more. It's impressive as it is.
We already know pretty much everything he’ll “learn”.
It would be a lot more impressive if he were to jump from orbit and make a controlled descent at slower speeds.
This may be the thing that changes the old adage ‘it’s not the fall that kills you’
To me it’s more about what you learn on the ground preparing for it. It takes a lot of brainstorming when the possibility of death is involved. That knowledge may translate down the road. Doing just confirms you got it right (hopefully).
Agreed, don't care what it is, its still AWESOME.
Could be. So were Lindberg's flights, the moon landings etc. I'm reminded of some of the staff from JPL dissing man in space as a waste of money and not science. All that being said, who cares. There's plenty of reasons to do something besides science and sometimes in the process a little bit of science might also be revealed.
is there a “splatting news” section on FR?
So an astronaut walking at any non zero speed across the surface of the moon has already traveled faster than the speed of sound with "just the human body".
Help me out here.
If he is falling from that altitude at that speed, wouldn’t he burn up?
Cool. Heard about other people proposing to do this in the past but nothing came of it.
I wonder how easy though it would be to “bail out” of an ascending rocket if that is what Clark is suggesting.