Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Skydive From Space Update 2

4 people now have their eyes on this record.

Felix Baumgartner, who with the help of Joe Kittinger, the man who has held the record since 1960, is well on his way to complete this insane challenge. A photo of his gondola which wil take him up to 120,000 Feet is below.

The rivals are:
Steve Truglia, a British stuntman.
Cheryl Stearns, a pilot for US Airways who holds 30 skydiving records.
Michael Fournier from France, who has attempted the freefall record 3 times and has been his dream for 20 years. His last attempt was in May 2010, but was cancelled due to a technical fault.

My money's on Felix.

Check out our previous post on him and his spacesuit HERE.

1. Camera Systems
Three pressurized housings on aluminum arms will contain a total of three HD, three ultra-high-resolution video and two digital still cameras. Four more cameras record outside and three inside. "We basically built a flying television studio," says Jay Nemeth of FlightLine Films.

2. Outer Fairing
The Gemini shape of the capsule is "really a very elegant way of putting a lot of insulation around a lot of the systems," says chief engineer Bill Dodson. R-24 equivalent foam, covered by a fiberglass shell and fireproof paint, helps guard against temperatures as low as minus 100 F.

3. Liquid Oxygen
Redundant liquid-oxygen tanks with independent lines provide 10 hours of O2 for the 3-hour flight, plus pressurize Baumgartner's suit at altitude. N2 flowing from an oversize liquid-nitrogen tank will keep the cabin's oxygen level to below 30 percent, minimizing fire risk.

4. Pressure Sphere
A pressure sphere, molded from fiberglass and epoxy, sits in a chrome-moly steel load frame "like an egg in a bubble-wrap container," says project director Art Thompson. It will be pressurized to 8 psi—equal to 16,000 feet—but is designed to withstand 50. "It's definitely overbuilt."