Jump from the Stratosphere: Know the Man and Technology behind the Dared Act

The dare devilry act by Felix Baumgartner, from Australia, is the most talked about story since Sunday. The biggest dive from stratosphere to earth is surely a brave act.  While Baumgartner takes away all the limelight, we thought of giving some credit to the technology developed specifically for this jump.From the Red Bull stratus capsule to the safe landing parachute, designed specifically if Baumgartner had spiraled out of control, the jump contributed to the technology that analysts say can be used in other areas as well. Let’s look at some of the unique gadgetry put to use during the world’s largest leap:

The Capsule:

The Red Bull stratus used for the jump weighed 2,900 pounds, slightly more than the Volkswagen Beetle. It is made up of the same steel alloy cage used in the racecars and has a fiberglass. This fiberglass protected Baumgartner from temperatures as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The base was covered in crush pads, which was designed to handle 8 Gs of impact pressure.

The Suit:

Baumgartner’s suit was tested in as high as 100 Fahrenheit and, in Baumgartner’s case, as low as -70 Fahrenheit. Engineers on the project say it is an ideal uniform for future space travels.

The suit was packed with 3.5 pounds of pressure, which protected Baumgartner’s body tissues from turning into gas and expanding while he was 62,000 feet above. Another important aspect of the suit was it provided mobility. It helped move swiftly and a system of mirrors increased visibility.

Chest Pack:

Near the gear was a chest pack, which had all the gadgetry Baumgartner required to complete the mission. The data used to get recorded and the gadget reported with the speed, time, altitude, location, etc that helped control the mission and kept him updated of his whereabouts. He also had a voice transmitter and receiver connected to his helmet.

Cameras:

Chest pack had the camera; however, that was not the only one still and video cameras were specifically designed by Jay Nemeth of FlightLine Films, who had experience shooting in zero gravity, for this mission.

There were nine high-definition cameras in the capsule, three high-resolution still cameras and three digital cinematography cameras with lens resolution of 4,000 x 2,000-pixels.

Parachute:

The parachute itself took five years for in the making. The parachute is made for the first ever supersonic-speed fall. It weighed around 60 pounds.  It also included a “Drogue shoot”, which would have deployed, had Baumgartner spinned out of control. His rig also had an emergency parachute for safe landing.

Sticking the landing:

What controlled where Baumgartner lands. Once his hoot open his parachute, less than two miles above the Earth, Baumgartner was able to steer himself to a flat area where he could land.  The weather conditions and winds at the high altitude were already taken care of. Besides, a beacon inside his suit made his recovery helicopter follow him.

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