• Red Bull Stratos: Surviving the Stratosphere at Mach 1.25

Red Bull Stratos: Surviving the Stratosphere at Mach 1.25

Saturday, September 14, 2013 -
2:30pm to 4:00pm
Special Event
Murdock Theater

On October 14, 2012, a pressurized capsule attached to a scientific balloon raised an athlete wearing a custom-made spacesuit over Roswell, New Mexico for a two-and-a-half-hour ascent to 128,000 feet into the stratosphere where he would exit and step off into a free-fall from near space. Others had died trying to break the 52-year old record set by Col. Joseph Kittinger during the pre-astronaut days of 1960. Few people watching that day realized the event was the culmination of a seven-year endeavor, including a rigorous flight test program, numerous setbacks and delays that threatened the success of the program.

Art Thompson, CEO of Sage Cheshire Aerospace, with over 34 years of experience in the aerospace industry on some of the most advanced aircraft in the world, was the earliest collaborator on the project and was its technical director. In 2005 he provided an 87-page summary of the conceptual groundwork for what would become known as "Red Bull Stratos: Mission to the Edge of Space." While the world held its breath, Felix Baumgartner surpassed supersonic speed during his 4 minutes 20 seconds in free fall, becoming the first man to successfully reach MACH 1.25 (traveling over 843.6 mph) without the use of an aerodynamic vehicle.

Join Art Thompson as he reveals the design, technical and logistical challenges of a very complex project combining aspects of traditional aeronautics and space worthiness to push the limits of human physiology and help to develop protocol for a safe return from near space.

This program is free for Museum members and free with daily admission to the Museum of Flight.