Baumgartner Blasts Branson, Blows NewSpace Cred

There was a fair amount of coverage on space blogs earlier t his month about Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos skydiving adventure, in which he set a new world record by jumping from 128,100 feet (nearly 24 miles).

And why not? He ascended in a pressurized vessel that looked kind of like a space capsule wearing something very similar to a spacesuit to an altitude well above a good portion of the atmosphere. Space enthusiasts made the quick leap of imagination to a whole new sport of space diving, with daredevils jumping to Earth from suborbital space and, ultimately, orbit.

Well, just fahgedaboutit! Baumgartner says that’s a terrible idea. And he has some choice words for Richard Branson and Mars exploration.


Branson: I’ve Stopped Counting the Days to Commercial SpaceShipTwo Flights

Will Whitehorn gives a pat on the back to Richard Branson as he greets Virgin Galactic ticketholders during the Oshkosh air show in 2009.

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Eight years after launching the SpaceShipTwo program, Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson is beginning to sound a bit impatient with progress even as the first powered tests of the 8-person space plane appear imminent. The Associated Press reports from Warsaw, Poland:

He says it will be at least another 12 or 18 months before the Virgin Galactic venture can offer paid space travel to adventurers….

Asked about Virgin Galactic, Branson said he has “stopped counting” days to the launch because it gets delayed “to the next year, to the next year.”


Companies Developing Near-Space Diving Suit

BALTIMORE, MD, Oct 9, 2012 (Juxtopia/Sol-X PR) — Inside Baltimore’s JUICE Lab, Solar System Express (Sol-X) and Juxtopia LLC are collaborating to transition sci-fi gadgets as seen in Star Trek (2009) and Iron Man (2008) into reality. Technology transfer between the companies will result in a high-tech system to control the fall of skydivers from altitudes above 120,000 feet, near the edge of space, and provide a visual Augmented Reality display during the journey. Product code name – RL Mark VI.


Felix Baumgarther to Jump From Edge of Space on Tuesday Morning

Felix Baumgartner will attempt to set a new skydiving record on Tuesday morning by jumping from 120,000 feet. If successful, he will break the record of 102,800 feet set by U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger in 1960. The Red Bull Stratos mission is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT (5:30 a.m. PDT) from Roswell, N.M. if weather permits. Baumgartner will ascend in a pressurized capsule attached to a balloon.

Here’s how to follow the mission:

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Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos Jump Planned for Oct. 8

Felix Baumgartner tests the mobility of his pressure suit shell during high altitude skydive training over the Mojave desert in preparation for the Red Bull Stratos mission where he hopes to freefall back to Earth from 120,000 feet in 2010. Photo credit: Luke Aikins for Red Bull Media HouseROSWELL, N.M. (Red Bull Stratos PR) — The final countdown for Felix Baumgartner’s history making jump from the edge of space began on Monday after the Red Bull Stratos Technical Project Director Art Thompson declared the repaired space capsule is fit and all systems are go.

The tentative launch date for Baumgartner’s attempt to jump from an altitude of 36,576 meters has now been set for October 8, ending a period of uncertainty for the team and, for Baumgartner, the agony of waiting. The Austrian extreme sport athlete had to endure delays due to the repairs but is now delighted that the countdown is on for his attempt to become the first person to break the sound barrier in freefall and set four other world records in the process.


Video: Baumgartner Dives from 96,000 Feet

Video Caption: Felix Baumgartner completed a second test dive from a balloon hoisted capsule. He reached 536 mph in the freefall. His objective is to break the speed of sound on his next dive from 120,000 feet.

Baumgarter Completes Second Test Jump

A balloon carrying Felix Baumgartner over the skies of Roswell, NM. (Credit: Red Bull Stratos)

Felix Baumgartner landed safely yesterday after jumping from 96,640ft (29,455m) at a top speed of 536mph (863kph) over Roswell, N.M. This was Baumgartner’s second test dive before he tries to set a new dive record this Fall under the Red Bull Stratos project.

Awesome Video of Felix Baumgartner’s Test Jump

Video Caption: On March 15, 2012, Austria’s Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a space capsule from an altitude of approximately 71,580 feet as the Red Bull Stratos project moved forward into the manned flight stage in New Mexico. The 42-year-old rode the space capsule attached to a giant helium balloon above the so-called “Armstrong Line.” The goal of the Red Bull Stratos project is to see Baumgartner attempt a record-breaking freefall from 120,000 feet this summer where he’ll potentially become the first man to go supersonic without the support of a vehicle.

Baumgartner Does Test Jump From 13.6 Miles

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria seen before his jump at the first manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on March 15 2012. In this test he reach the altitude 21800 meters (71500 ft) and landed safely near Roswell. (Credit: Jay Nemeth/Red Bull Content Pool)

ROSWELL, NM (Red Bull Stratos PR) – At precisely 9:50 a.m., Felix Baumgartner landed with his parachute in the New Mexico desert nearly 30 miles away from Roswell, wearing a spacesuit as he safely completed a journey towards the edge of space. Just 1 hour and 40 minutes earlier the extreme athlete from Austria had lifted off from Roswell on board a space capsule attached to a 165-foot-high helium balloon that brought him to an altitude of nearly 71,580 feet.


Baumgartner Prepares to Break Skydiving Record in Roswell, NM

Felix Baumgartner tests the mobility of his pressure suit shell during high altitude skydive training over the Mojave desert in preparation for the Red Bull Stratos mission where he hopes to freefall back to Earth from 120,000 feet in 2010. Photo credit: Luke Aikins for Red Bull Media HouseTogether with a team of aerospace experts, Austrian extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner is ready to rise to the challenge of the Mission Red Bull Stratos. His aim is to jump from a balloon in the stratosphere from an altitude of 36,57 meters (120,000 feet) and perform a record-breaking freefall. Baumgartner wants to become the first person to break the speed of sound without the protection of an aircraft while simultaneously collecting data never obtained before for the advancement of medical science. After testing in an elaborate altitude (vacuum) chamber in Texas, the mission has moved on to a decisive phase at Roswell, New Mexico.

ROSWELL, New Mexico (United States) – The Red Bull Stratos team is making final preparations for their attempt to break Colonel Joe Kittinger’s 52-year-old record, a freefall from 31,333 meters (102,800 feet) during his historic “Excelsior III” project in 1960. Joe Kittinger has been involved as an advisor to the Red Bull Stratos project from the very beginning and serves as a mentor to the 41-year-old Austrian athlete.

Felix Baumgartner has already completed record-breaking B.A.S.E jumps in some of the world’s most spectacular locations, such as the World Financial Center T101 in Taipei, one of the world’s tallest buildings. He also did one of the lowest B.A.S.E. jumps ever when he leapt from the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. In 2003 Baumgartner used carbon wings attached to his body to become the first man to skydive across the English Channel.


Red Bull Suspends Space Diving Plan Due to Lawsuit

Felix Baumgartner tests the mobility of his pressure suit shell during high altitude skydive training over the Mojave desert in preparation for the Red Bull Stratos mission where he hopes to freefall back to Earth from 120,000 feet in 2010. Photo credit: Luke Aikins for Red Bull Media House

Supersonic freefall bid put on hold

Felix Baumgartner’s quest to achieve a supersonic parachute jump has run into some legal turbulence.

Energy drinks maker Red Bull, which is sponsoring the effort, said today that it is stopping the program “with immediate effect” pending the outcome of a “multimillion dollar lawsuit” filed earlier this year by a man claiming certain rights to the project.

Working under the auspices of the Red Bull Stratos program, Baumgartner was aiming to be the first person ever to hit supersonic speeds in the atmosphere without the protection of an aircraft around him. The Austria-born daredevil, who has in excess of 2,000 parachute jumps to his credit–often from stunningly low altitudes–was to ascent to the rarefied height of 120,000 feet (23 miles) in a pressurized gondola below a balloon, and then jump.

Read the full story.

Video: The Red Bull Stratos Camera System

Falling from the edge of Space: Lights, Camera, Freefall! The Stratos mission team gives an exclusive look at the custom camera systems that will record and broadcast Felix Baumgartner’s stratospheric mission later this year. Bringing together high definition and real time images to a supersonic freefall in the hostile environment of 23 miles / 36 km above earth won’t be easy.

Near Space Diver: Love the Jump, Hate the Suit

Hardest part of free-fall from 120,000 feet is sitting in suit
Seattle P-I

The hardest part about riding a balloon up to 120,000 feet, jumping out and free-falling faster than sound before parachuting to Earth is likely to be sitting around in the pressure suit, Austrian pilot Felix Baumgartner said Wednesday.


Athlete to Parachute from the Edge of Space

Later this year, Felix Baumgartner will parachute from an altitude of 120,000 feet in a mission called Red Bull Stratos. This will be the longest stratospheric free fall in history. Baumgartner is hoping to become the first human to break the speed of sound with his own body.