On Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 skydiver Felix Baumgartner dove into the history books. The daring Austrian became the first person to skydive from a height of more than 24 miles. He was also the first person to break the sound barrier outside of a vehicle. His incredible display of courage would not have been possible without the help of advanced technology funded by Red Bull.
Baumgartner’s fully equipped pressurized suit, manufactured by the David Clark Company, was designed with a vent to move warm air to keep him from freezing and cold air to keep his helmet from fogging up. His helmet, made primarily of composite materials, was fitted with various safety features to prevent it from coming loose, fogging up or freezing over.
The Red Bull Stratos capsule that carried him into the upper atmosphere was comprised of an insulated fiberglass shell. Within that shell was a pressure sphere of molded fiberglass and epoxy. As the Stratos capsule reached the top of its ascent, the sphere was pressurized to approximate the air pressure at 16,000 feet. This reduced the risk of Baumgartner succumbing to decompression sickness during his ascent.
Baumgartner deployed his parachute two miles from the Earth’s surface. He landed in New Mexico, about 23 miles from where he ascended.