6 Notes

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is the next stop for the Red Bull Stratos exhibit where it will find it’s permanent home. Patrons will be able to see the equipment used in the mission, including Baumgartner’s space suit and 3,200-pound capsule.
Where: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Independence Ave at 6th St, SW Washington, DC 20560
When: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 (exhibit runs until May 26 and then artifacts will live at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center indefinitely)
Public Hours: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily with extended hours as part of the exhibition’s run.

For more information visit: http://airandspace.si.edu/visit/extended-hours.cfm
Or follow @redbullDC on twitter and instagram.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is the next stop for the Red Bull Stratos exhibit where it will find it’s permanent home. Patrons will be able to see the equipment used in the mission, including Baumgartner’s space suit and 3,200-pound capsule.

Where: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Independence Ave at 6th St, SW Washington, DC 20560

When: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 (exhibit runs until May 26 and then artifacts will live at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center indefinitely)

Public Hours: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily with extended hours as part of the exhibition’s run.

For more information visit: http://airandspace.si.edu/visit/extended-hours.cfm

Or follow @redbullDC on twitter and instagram.

8 Notes

The Red Bull Stratos traveling exhibit continues this month in Dayton, OH at the National Museum of the US Air Force (NMUSAF). This unique tour stop is home to several artifacts from Colonel Joe Kittinger’s original gondola space missions; including the Stargazer and Project MANHIGH.  Dating back to 1923, NMUSAF is one of the world’s oldest and largest military aviation museums with more than 360 aircrafts and missiles on display.  It also is home to several Presidential aircrafts, including those used by Franklin D. RooseveltHarry Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower

Please join us from January 24, 2014 to March 16, 2014 to experience Red Bull Stratos and so much more. For information on the National Museum of the US Air Force, please visit:  http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/    or take a virtual tour here: http://www.nmusafvirtualtour.com/full/tour-std.html 

For one night only, The University of Dayton will host The Red Bull Stratos Leadership team in the Chudd Auditorium on January 24, 2014 from 3pm-5pm as they discuss the challenges and successes of this project. More details here: win.gs/Stratos

The lecture will feature:
Art Thompson- Technical Project Director
Jon Clark- Medical Director
Colonel Joe Kittinger- Director of Flight Operations And Safety

The Red Bull Stratos Exhibit will open on same day at the National Museum of the US Air Force (open free to the public daily from 9am-5pm).

Contact @RedBullOHIO for details!

15 Notes

October 14 is the one-year anniversary of Red Bull Stratos! And the experts from the mission team have flown 5,000 miles to Felix Baumgartner’s birthplace of Salzburg to celebrate that memorable day.

Felix is welcoming Joe Kittinger, Art Thompson and Jon Clark – among others – back to his hometown, with special events like a tour of the Red Bull Stratos exhibit at the Hangar-7 aircraft museum and a day-trip to fantastic Alpine destinations. Felix even personally piloted an airborne tour of the region for Joe, Art and Jon in his helicopter. After more than five years of devoting themselves to the challenges of a supersonic dream, these hard-working experts have definitely earned some celebration!

When the jump was successful last October, the mission was still far from over: Felix has been on the road sharing his experiences with people all over, while the other team members have been sharing, too – analyzing the data and presenting the results to aerospace researchers. Even though they’ve had 12 months to reflect on the experience and what it meant to them, this celebration in Salzburg is a rare and wonderful occasion to come together as a group with Felix to look back and discuss their insights and emotions.

Felix and the team were able to relive that historic moment one year ago, and many others from the mission’s five-year development, during a special preview screening of the new documentary “Mission to the Edge of Space: The Inside Story of Red Bull Stratos.” Beginning Oct. 14, the one-year anniversary of the jump, the rest of us can watch this new documentary, too. It features lots of never-before-seen interviews with the team and all the ups and downs of the mission’s preparation and, eventually, success – including Felix’s own POV during freefall. This amazing film is available to watch for free, exclusively on web music service Rdio. Check out rdio.com/redbullstratos.

Congratulations, Felix and team!

3 Notes

The California Science Center was the perfect location for a special meeting of the Red Bull Stratos team on January 23, as they conducted a peer review of all the data they’ve been analyzing since Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall.

Even though the mission’s skydiving consultant Luke Aikins joked that he would be “more comfortable skydiving at night with one arm tied behind my back” than giving a formal presentation, he and the entire team did themselves proud, and the audience of dignitaries – including NASA astronauts, U.S. Air Force officers, and representatives from commercial aerospace companies such as Virgin Galactic, Northrop Grumman, SpaceX, XCOR, Sierra Nevada Corporation and more – were obviously excited to be the first to learn the findings. 

Some of the most anticipated info came from the physiologic monitor Felix wore under his suit. How fast did his spin get? 60 rpm. (Still totally in the safe zone!). Then there were the weather extremes, with temps as low as minus 95 F. The team shared updates to Felix’s history-making stats, too, including the announcement that he went even faster than originally believed, definitely reaching Mach 1.25.

It was a fascinating day and an emotional one, with a long, spontaneous standing ovation for Felix’s mentor Joe Kittinger and a heartfelt moment when technical project director Art Thompson misted up in thanking the mission “family.” Even the mid-afternoon break was memorable as everyone took a moment to visit Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Want to read what the experts learned? Check out a report on the findings and keep your eye on this site for further updates.

7 Notes

Celebrating 2012 and looking ahead to 2013. Red Bull Stratos makes Sports Illustrated’s Picture of the Year. Thank you RBS fans for being a part of our team and loyally following our mission to 128,100 ft. 10-14-12 was a spectacular day! Happy New Year from all of us. Reach for the Stars! 

If you are feeling nostalgic about the mission, here is a link to all the posts from the past year. 

3 Notes

This is where stars, students, and giant balloons meet - some place between the edge of space and terra firma in Roswell, New Mexico. Quest For Stars’ CEO Bobby Russell is leading students on a scientific mission beyond this galaxy. In fact, Bobby and his team eagerly packed their bags and headed to Roswell, NM at about the same time the Red Bull Stratos team prepared for the final manned flight in October. The atmospheric pictures here were captured by the Quest For Stars balloon cam on Stratoshuttle3, the same day Felix Baumgartner made his record jump Oct. 14, 2012. The QFS balloon reached 98,000 ft. That’s pretty close but not quite as high as our top altitude at 128,100 ft. Interestingly, their equipment landed not too far from our capsule recovery team near Roswell. To watch how Quest For Stars followed in Felix’s footsteps, see it here.

To learn more about Quest For Stars’ next big record setting project go here.

3 Notes

Students and teachers at Patrick F. Daly School, 1/2 mile from New York Bay, were in a fight for their lives when Hurricane Sandy made landfall Oct. 29, 2012. After the storm had passed leaving the northeast in devastation, teachers at Patrick F. Daly directed attention to the Red Bull Stratos mission. It was the perfect lesson plan for these kids who had temporarily lost their school.

Michael Silverman with the STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) describes the aftermath:
"The basement was under twenty-five feet of water. The boiler and electrical systems were completely destroyed, along with all of the replacement furniture for the classrooms. The school was deemed uninhabitable. After a week of determining the damage, students and staff reported to a nearby school, to continue teaching and learning. We accommodated the space by placing entire grades of up to 70 students in a single classroom. As teachers worked with students to cope with the trauma and loss, we gave mini-lessons on the atmosphere, air pressure, and the speed of sound.
Students viewed the website and accompanying videos. It was amazing to watch their reaction. They applauded as Felix took his first step from the capsule and then high-fived one another when he landed safely. They had many questions about the team of scientists and technicians, and wanted to do their own research. Mostly they felt empowered, and from this experience found an underlying message; no matter the odds or goal, obstacles can be overcome and great things can be achieved. It was important for all of us during that moment to be reminded of that. Thank you and congratulations on your amazing accomplishment!”

Notes

Many have asked how it’s possible to use the “bathroom” when you’re locked inside a pressurized space suit. After all, it was crticially important for Felix to remain hydrated on his way up to the stratosphere.

A special diet was in force days ahead of the jump to eliminate the possibility of solid waste. A urine collection device or UCD was worn like a second skin inside the pressure suit. During urination the pressure suit would pressurize ever so slightly. That pressure pushed the liquid waste from the UCD down a tube through transfer connector hardware which extended down to a collection tank under Felix’s seat.

7 Notes

The original “space jumper”, (Ret) Col. Joe Kittinger, boldly took the position as Felix Baumgartner’s mentor and sole capsule communicator during the Red Bull Stratos mission. He was the perfect man for the job considering his experience as a U.S. Air Force test pilot and the first man to touch the dark sky from 102,800 ft. Listen to his experience on the BBC World Service Outlook.

You get a clear sense of Joe’s matter-of-fact approach to life when he talks about his depressurized glove during the 1960 balloon flight: “I knew if I told them they’d make me abort and I didn’t want to abort…I didn’t share my problem with them…it [Joe’s hand] would not explode, the blood would seep out through the skin….the hand swelled up in the glove”.

2 Notes

Earlier this year I met with former NASA astronaut Col. Blaine Hammond. As Red Bull Stratos made its announcement in February 2012 that Felix Baumgartner would attempt a jump from at least 120,000 feet, I asked Col. Hammond how he felt about our endeavor.
"It looks extremely interesting and, if all goes well, it will be interesting to extrapolate Felix’s results to a Shuttle crew that might have had to bail out at such altitudes."
Col. Hammond was optimistic and hoped all would go as planned so that our efforts would contribute to the science of space exploration. One thing he preached to classrooms after becoming an astronaut June 1985 was, “prepare now for what you want later”. That was an ongoing theme for Felix and the science team spending more than 5 years preparing for the supersonic jump completed Oct. 14, 2012. 
Col. Hammond understands how crucial and unforgiving space exploration can be. Not only had he served as an astronaut, he was the ascent/entry spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for shuttle missions following the Challenger disaster. When asked how he and his colleagues handled tense mission moments, Blaine said it was important to have the right attitude when approaching the unknown. Col. Hammond flew as pilot of Discovery on STS-39, the first unclassified Department of Defense mission (April 28 to May 6, 1991). He logged 8 days, 7 hours, 23 minutes of space flight. The seven-man crew performed numerous scientific experiments to collect data on atmospheric infrared and ultraviolet phenomena including a deploy and rendezvous in support of the Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO).
Col. Hammond left NASA in 1998 and now spends his time in the sky as a test pilot for Gulfstream.

Earlier this year I met with former NASA astronaut Col. Blaine Hammond. As Red Bull Stratos made its announcement in February 2012 that Felix Baumgartner would attempt a jump from at least 120,000 feet, I asked Col. Hammond how he felt about our endeavor.

"It looks extremely interesting and, if all goes well, it will be interesting to extrapolate Felix’s results to a Shuttle crew that might have had to bail out at such altitudes."

Col. Hammond was optimistic and hoped all would go as planned so that our efforts would contribute to the science of space exploration. One thing he preached to classrooms after becoming an astronaut June 1985 was, “prepare now for what you want later”. That was an ongoing theme for Felix and the science team spending more than 5 years preparing for the supersonic jump completed Oct. 14, 2012. 

Col. Hammond understands how crucial and unforgiving space exploration can be. Not only had he served as an astronaut, he was the ascent/entry spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for shuttle missions following the Challenger disaster. When asked how he and his colleagues handled tense mission moments, Blaine said it was important to have the right attitude when approaching the unknown. Col. Hammond flew as pilot of Discovery on STS-39, the first unclassified Department of Defense mission (April 28 to May 6, 1991). He logged 8 days, 7 hours, 23 minutes of space flight. The seven-man crew performed numerous scientific experiments to collect data on atmospheric infrared and ultraviolet phenomena including a deploy and rendezvous in support of the Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO).

Col. Hammond left NASA in 1998 and now spends his time in the sky as a test pilot for Gulfstream.