AIR SPACE

Step inside the spacesuit: How Felix Baumgartner will dive from space

Skydiving is dangerous. Skydiving from a balloon on the edge of space can kill you. To survive his 23-mile plunge, Felix Baumgartner will depend on a unique new spacesuit.

Full Suit Testing

Felix Baumgartner doing the first Red Bull Stratos full suit and helmet jump test.

Luke Aikins / Red Bull Photofiles

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Baumgartner's helmet pressurizes witht he suit and has a shaded visor to protect felix from the sun and a heated plate to prevent a freeze over in the extremely frosty temperatures of the stratosphere.
Red Bull Stratos

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This is the suit's biomed pass-through.
Red Bull Stratos

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Suit description
Red Bull Stratos

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Dressed in his full pressure suit, Baumgartner walks to the capsule during egress traning.
Red Bull Stratos

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The pressure valve of the suit Baumgartner will wear to 120,000, protecting him from the near-space environment.
Red Bull Stratos

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Felix will wear a full pressure suit from helmet to boots in the stratosphere.
Red Bull Stratos

Freefalling

Felix Baumgartner during the first Red Bull Stratos full suit and helmet jump test.

Red Bull

Measuring a Spacesuit

This next-generation gear was manufactured by Massachusetts-based David Clark Company Incorporated, which has pioneered air and space crew protective equipment since 1941, including launch entry suits for Space Shuttle astronauts and the iconic suit that Colonel Joe Kittinger wore on his historic Excelsior III jump in 1960.

Red Bull Stratos

Measuring a Spacesuit

Skydivers are trained to use their bodies to control freefall, using subtle midair positioning adjustments to significantly affect flight. Control is especially critical at high altitude, where rapid spinning is a potentially lethal possibility. The pressurized suit makes some physical adjustments difficult, and others impossible.

Red Bull Stratos

Measuring a Spacesuit

The helmet that protects Felix’s head also restricts his vision, a challenge that can be exacerbated if the atmospheric conditions, or perspiration, cause fogging or icing. If Felix can’t see, he won’t be able to launch the jump.

Red Bull Stratos

Measuring a Spacesuit

Felix’s hands must be enclosed in pressurized gloves. In his full-pressure suit, Felix will find it more difficult not only to see critical components of his equipment – like parachute handles or tangled lines – but even to feel them.

Red Bull Stratos

Space Gloves

Felix’s hands must be enclosed in pressurized gloves. In his full-pressure suit, Felix will find it more difficult not only to see critical components of his equipment – like parachute handles or tangled lines – but even to feel them.

Fran�ois Portmann/RedBull

Suiting Up

Mike Todd, the Red Bull Stratos Life Support Engineer, describes Felix’s PPA as “an artificial atmosphere.” The suit’s exterior is made of a material that is both fire-retardant and an insulator against extreme cold. 

Fran�ois Portmann/RedBull

Suiting Up

Inside the suit, the “bladder” (which will be filled with gases to provide pressurization before Felix exits the capsule), is composed of a non-porous material surrounded by link netting. When the bladder is inflated, it will provide pressure at 3.5 pounds per square inch. An integrated control valve, the “brains” of the suit, maintains pressure automatically at various altitudes.

Fran�ois Portmann/RedBull

Suiting Up

Once Baumgartner depressurizes the vessel and opens the door to step off, his full-pressure suit and helmet – what engineers call a “pilot protective assembly,” or PPA – will be his only life-support system until he reaches the safety of the lower atmosphere.

Fran�ois Portmann/RedBull

Suiting Up

The full-pressure suit and helmet will serve as Felix Baumgartner’s sole life-support system when he steps off his capsule to attempt a record-breaking freefall from the edge of space. 

Fran�ois Portmann/RedBull

Packing the Chute

Once at a low enough level, Baumgartner will parachute back down to the ground.

Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Backpack

Capsule shipment and documentary pictures of capsule and pack.
Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Space Helmet

Capsule shipment and documentary pictures of capsule and pack.
Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Space Helmet

Capsule shipment and documentary pictures of capsule and pack.
Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

The Ascent Balloon

The Pressurized Suit

The Space Helmet

The Space Helmet

Inside the Suit

Preparing to Jump

Initial Jump Tests

Initial suit jump for Felix Baumgartner at California City Airport.
Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Initial Jump Tests

Initial suit jump for Felix Baumgartner at California City Airport.
Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Helmet and Gloves

Initial suit jump for Felix Baumgartner at California City Airport.
Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Initial Jump Tests

Initial suit jump for Felix Baumgartner at California City Airport.
Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Step inside the spacesuit: How Felix Baumgartner will dive from space

Skydiving is dangerous. Skydiving from a balloon on the edge of space can kill you. To survive his 23-mile plunge, Felix Baumgartner will depend on a unique new spacesuit.

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