|02-07-2012, 01:39 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tranquility Base
World's biggest jump reset for 2012
After a long delay due to legal snags, skydiver Felix Baumgartner is once again gearing up for a supersonic plunge from a 120,000-foot-high balloon — a publicity stunt aimed at breaking a record that has stood for 52 years.
The Red Bull energy-drink company announced today that Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos mission was back in action, aiming to set a record for the longest, fastest, highest parachute jump.
Word of the renewed effort leaked out over the weekend in The Telegraph. That report claimed that the balloon would lift off from Roswell, N.M., in August — but a spokeswoman for the project, Trish Medalen, told me that it's too early to announce a date. The most she'd say is that the team plans to make an attempt sometime in the next year.
That's similar to what was said a little more than two years ago, when Red Bull made the initial announcement about Baumgartner's record try. The plan had to be put on hold in October 2010 due to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by event promoter Daniel Hogan. At the time, Red Bull said Hogan claimed "to own certain rights to the project" and announced it would not proceed with the jump "until this case has been resolved."
Back in business
Hogan and Red Bull reached an out-of-court settlement last July. Neither party has discussed the terms of the settlement, but it opened the way for pre-jump preparations to resume. In December, KRQE-TV reported that Red Bull's launch crew was conducting stratospheric balloon tests at the Roswell Industrial Air Center.
Red Bull Stratos
Click on the image for a 12-megabyte PDF graphic that shows every phase of skydiver Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos mission.
The flight plan calls for Baumgartner, a veteran 42-year-old skydiver from Austria, to rise to an altitude of 120,000 feet (36,576 meters) on a helium balloon equipped with a pressurized capsule. The ascent should take about three hours. Baumgartner will be wearing a pressure suit and astronaut-style helmet, and an oxygen-tank system will be built into his parachute pack. All this equipment is meant to keep him safe amid temperatures of 94 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-70 degrees Celsius).
Baumgartner would jump out of the capsule and go into free-fall for about five minutes, reaching speeds in excess of Mach 1 (which is about 690 mph or 1,110 kilometers per hour at that altitude). At a height of 5,000 feet (1.5 kilometers), Baumgartner would open his parachute, slowing down his descent for the final 10 minutes or so.
The team said it recently went through a successful mission simulation inside a vacuum chamber at Brooks City-Base in Texas. That three-hour rehearsal duplicated the temperatures and near-vacuum conditions Baumgartner would face during the ascent.
"The test in the chamber was a decisive moment for us," technical director Art Thompson said in a news release. "It's as close as you can get to the near space conditions without leaving Earth. We were able to verify our equipment, and now we're moving on to plan the first manned test flights."
More at the link above.
If he were to get to that height he would earn his Astronaut wings. Going Supersonic with no propulsion is amazing, just hope he can create enough drag to slow it down if he starts having control issues.
Glad to see people still trying to get to space anyway they can!
|02-07-2012, 06:49 AM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Aug 2004
First half of this music video features the current record holding jump by Joe Kittinger from an altitude of 102,800 feet in 1960. Crazy that record has stood this long.