An exhibit opened at The California Science Center, displaying both the capsule and suit which Felix Baumgartner wore during his record setting 128,100 feet free fall from the Stratosphere.
During the exhibit’s debut, Colonel Joe Kittinger, Art Thompson, Jon Clark, and Andy Walshe, who were a part of the Stratos Mission, provided a panel for an audience that highlighted the details of the mission as well as the never before seen documentary “Space Dive,” which followed the team’s work through the eight years that it took to prepare.
According to redbullstratos.com, “The purpose of the Red Bull Stratos mission is to transcend human limits.”
The website adds, “Although researching extremes was part of the program’s goals, setting records wasn’t the mission’s purpose.”
“Space Dive” focused on the struggles that the team faced as well as the dilemmas that Baumgartner faced with himself and the suit that was specially designed for the mission.
The documentary did a great job presenting the facts and milestones of the Stratos Mission in a manner that spikes the curiosity of a person without losing the audience with technical details.
It was reported in the documentary that he reached a speed of Mach 1.25, a speed that was faster than was originally estimated.
Baumgartner spun at increasing speeds which seemed to be beyond control for him.
It was shown that the Stratos Crew developed a Drogue Stabilization system to stabilize Baumgartner if his spins went beyond Baumgartner’s control.
According to the documentary, new medical protocols were developed to deal with blood spontaneously boiling above 63,000 feet in altitude.
Dr. Jonathan Clark, Red Bull Stratos medical director, said, “We’ve developed a clinical practice standard that will allow potential space travellers a fighting chance if they get exposed to a vacuum”.
I felt that the weakness of the documentary was that it repeated the same idea several times, they should have spent more time with editing.
For a debut, it was disappointing that the documentary wasn’t presented using the Science Center’s entire theater screen.
One could imagine how glorious the shots from Baumgartner’s capsule would look on the entire screen.
What was interesting about the event and documentary, was that the presence of Red Bull was secondary to the science that was being presented.
Naturally, the Red Bull logo can be spotted on the desks of sleep deprived Stratos crew, and the capsule itself, however it doesn’t make itself a distraction throughout the film.
Thompson said, “When we approached YouTube about broadcasting the jump, we were told that they wouldn’t top over a million views”.
Last year Baumgartner made history and now you can get a little taste of it by visiting the California Science Center.