Red Bull Stratos, a mission to the edge of space, will attempt to transcend human limits that have existed for 50 years. Supported by a team of experts Felix Baumgartner 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.
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.
The countdown has begun for Felix Baumgartner's epic jump from the edge of space. Supported by a team of experts, Felix will ascend in a helium balloon to an altitude of 120,000 ft / 36,576 m where he will take a leap of faith into the unknown in an attempt to become the first person to break the speed of sound during freefall.
Nine high-definition cameras
Three 4K (4,000 x 2,000-pixel) digital cinematography cameras
Three high-resolution digital still cameras
Originally posted by EnigmaAgent
Heard about it on the news, but I didn't realise there was a live stream. Thanks so much.
Originally posted by samkent
I wonder if he is going to tumble during the first part of the jump?
Or does he have something to stabilize him?
No personal parachute system has ever been used for a supersonic freefall from the edge of space. Years of development and testing have resulted in innovations including revolutionary drogue technology to stabilize Felix Baumgartner if necessary.
HARNESS AND CONTAINER
The container houses the drogue stabilization chute and the two landing parachutes (main and reserve), while the harness attaches the entire rig to Felix Baumgartner and holds two oxygen bottles, which can supply at least 10 minutes of oxygen at altitude.
On the front of the harness there are four handles:
Right Chest Level (red): Deploys main chute; simultaneously cuts away drogue
Right Hip Level (yellow): Cuts away main chute so reserve can deploy without tangling
Left Chest Level (red): Deploys reserve chute; simultaneously cuts away drogue
Left Hip Level (yellow): Cuts away reserve in case of accidental deployment
DROGUE STABILIZATION CHUTE AND G METER
The drogue stabilization chute and G meter offer breakthrough skydiving technology. This is the first personal drogue equipment ever designed for supersonic deployment, and it's the first ever designed to function completely independently of the main and reserve parachutes.
If Felix becomes unstable, he may need the drogue chute to keep from spinning uncontrollably. However, in his quest to break the sound barrier, he doesn't want to deploy a drogue unless absolutely necessary, as it could slow him down. The solution: If Felix experiences 3.5 Gs or more for a continuous period of 6 seconds, a G meter will open the drogue stabilization chute automatically.
A drogue deployment button will also be available on Felix's glove. If he holds down this button for three seconds, the drogue stabilization chute will fire.
If all goes as Felix envisions, the main parachute is the only parachute in his rig that will be deployed. This nine-cell, ram-air, 270-square-foot/25-square-meter canopy will not open automatically. It is expected that Felix will pull the handle to deploy it at 5,000 feet/1,524 meters.
Felix's main and reserve (emergency) parachutes are rated to be opened at 150 knots, which means that he must slow to about 172 mph / 277km/h for safe deployment.
Felix can deploy his reserve parachute manually, but the system also includes CYPRES (Cybernetic Parachute Release System) technology to deploy the reserve automatically if he exceeds a vertical speed of 35 meters (115 feet) per second at a predetermined altitude (around 2,000 feet / 610 meters).
The combined parachute system components - Felix's overall rig - will weigh about 60 lbs./27 kg. In comparison, a typical skydiving rig weighs about 20 lbs./9 kg., and a BASE jumping rig weighs 10 to 12 lbs./4 to 5 kg.
Packing the reserve parachute takes about an hour, while packing the main parachute and drogue stabilization chute requires about 20 minutes each.
Normal skydiving rigs don't have a mechanism to cut away the reserve parachute, a skydiver's last resource in an emergency. But if Felix's reserve chute inadvertently deployed at high altitude, his landing could be delayed so much that he'd run out of oxygen. In that unlikely situation, Felix can use a handle to cut away the reserve parachute and return to freefall, finally pulling his main parachute once he reaches a "normal" altitude.
No parachute is guaranteed for higher than 25,000 feet/7,620 meters. Felix will jump from approximately 120,000 feet/36,600 meters.
Drogues have typically been attached from the middle of the skydiver's back, but Felix's drogue stabilization chute hangs from his shoulders to help reduce the potential for dangerous spinning.
The initial concept for the Red Bull Stratos personal parachute system was developed - and the design process has been spearheaded by Luke Aikins, the Red Bull Stratos skydiving consultant, in collaboration with Felix and the mission's science team, including expert consultants from Sage Cheshire Aerospace. Luke then took his ideas to Kelly Farrington, founder of Velocity Sports Equipment. Kelly refined Luke's design and worked with the Red Bull Stratos team to fine-tune and manufacture the harness and container system and drogue. Meanwhile, Precision Aerodynamics supplied the main parachute and reserve parachute, the CYPRES automatic release system was provided by AIRTEC, and the altimeter that Felix will use to stay aware of his altitude is from by Larsen and Brusgaard.
Originally posted by Wewillrise77
Fresh from their Facebook page,
UPDATE: Mission Update: Cold front pushes the launch to Tuesday Oct 9th. We'll send another update as soon as we get the green light for launch.
The above is CDT...
Looks like we have to wait a lil more...edit on 9-10-2012 by Wewillrise77 because: timezone