• Red Bull Stratos mission – launch

    Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria sits in his capsule and prepares for the pre-breathing procedure during the preparations for the final manned flight of the Red Bull Stratos mission in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on 6 October 2012. Photographer Credit Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
    Date:9 October 2012 Tags:,

    UPDATE 10 October: Felix Baumgartner’s attempt to jump from the edge of space had to be aborted at the last minute due to wind gusts that made it impossible to safely inflate the 834 497 cubic metre balloon. At this stage the mission team is closely monitoring possible new launch days before approval is given for another countdown. Progress will be communicated as it happens.

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    Today, 9 October, Felix Baumgartner will undertake a stratospheric balloon flight to more than 36 576 metres and make a record-breaking “jump from the edge of space”. His supersonic freefall would finally break the record of 31 333 metres set 52 years ago by Joe Kittinger.

    On 6 October, the mission team conducted a step by step dress rehearsal of the final hours before the Red Bull Stratos launch. A successful result, with the addition of a favourable weather report, has heightened the team’s anticipation for a lift off today, 9 October.  The entire crew assembled to practice the 58 steps that will take the mission from a preparatory weather briefing all the way through to a launch of the 55-story high balloon. The rehearsal is a vital component of preparation for every jump, as it enables the teams from all four areas of responsibility to consolidate their checklists into one seamless process.

    After a 24-hour postponement due to an unfavourable weather forecast, Tuesday October 9 continues to look promising for the launch.

    Potential benchmarks
    – Reaching supersonic speed in freefall: First person to achieve the speed of sound (Mach 1) in freefall without mechanical assistance. Speed estimated to be about 1 110 km/h at point of breaking sound barrier; acceleration could continue to more than Mach 1.1 (previous record: 988 km/h, Mach 0,9).
    – Freefall from highest altitude: Expected jump from approximately 36 576 m (previous record: 31 333 m).
    – Longest freefall time: Expected freefall duration of about 5 minutes, 35 seconds (previous record: 4 minutes, 36 seconds).
    – Highest manned balloon flight: Expected float altitude of approximately 36 576 m (previous record: 34 667 m).

    Watch the Mission live on www.redbullstratos.com, www.youtube.com/redbull, and www.redbull.tv (App also available on iOS & Android).

    Good luck, Felix!