Update 10/14/12 @ 12:20 p.m. MDT — Felix Baumgartner has landed safely after a successful jump from 128,000 feet. Highlights of the jump seen here:
Mission To The Edge Of Space: Highlights
Red Bull Stratos. It’s a name many are now familiar with, as this mission to the edge of space has been brewing for the past few years. Today, with a bit of luck from the weather gods, the idea will come to fruition.
Backed by a team of experts, Felix Baumgartner is scheduled to ascend to 120,000 feet in a stratospheric balloon. From this height, Baumgartner will make a freefall jump, rocketing to earth at supersonic speeds before deploying his parachute and landing safely back on the ground. Sound wild? It is. And you can tune in to the whole thing live, beginning at 11:00 a.m. MDT, at freeskier.com/live.
Photo: balazsgardi.com/Red Bull Content Pool.
Red Bull says about this historic jump, “[Baumgartner’s] attempt to dare atmospheric limits holds the potential to provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers.”
As stated on redbullstratos.com, “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.
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.”
Will Felix pull off the stunt? Will years of calculated risk assessment, planning and training pay off? Tune in, and find out for yourself.
Good luck, Felix.