04 Feb 2013 12:53
The team present their findings at the California Science Center, January 23 2013
The California Science Center was the perfect location for a special meeting of the Red Bull Stratos team on January 23, as they conducted a peer review of all the data they’ve been analyzing since Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall.
Even though the mission’s skydiving consultant Luke Aikins joked that he would be “more comfortable skydiving at night with one arm tied behind my back” than giving a formal presentation, he and the entire team did themselves proud, and the audience of dignitaries – including NASA astronauts, U.S. Air Force officers, and representatives from commercial aerospace companies such as Virgin Galactic, Northrop Grumman, SpaceX, XCOR, Sierra Nevada Corporation and more – were obviously excited to be the first to learn the findings.
Some of the most anticipated info came from the physiologic monitor Felix wore under his suit. How fast did his spin get? 60 rpm. (Still totally in the safe zone!). Then there were the weather extremes, with temps as low as minus 95 F. The team shared updates to Felix’s history-making stats, too, including the announcement that he went even faster than originally believed, definitely reaching Mach 1.25.
It was a fascinating day and an emotional one, with a long, spontaneous standing ovation for Felix’s mentor Joe Kittinger and a heartfelt moment when technical project director Art Thompson misted up in thanking the mission “family.” Even the mid-afternoon break was memorable as everyone took a moment to visit Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Want to read what the experts learned? Check out a report on the findings and keep your eye on this site for further updates.
Tags: Felix Baumgartner, joe kittinger, space, space dive, california space center, endeavour, Red Bull Stratos, Stratosphere