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Supersonic Jump from Space: Skydiver Braumgartner donates to Smithsonian

Record breaking skydiving jump from the edge of space
Record breaking skydiving jump from the edge of space
Photo by Eric Long / National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

On Oct. 14, 2012, Austrian skydiver; Felix Baumgartner estimated his speed could hit 690 mph freefall. However, from a height of 24 miles (127,852 feet) he actually hit a speed of 843.6 mph (Mach 1.25), becoming the first human to break the speed of sound in free fall without vehicular power on his descent.

"Red Bull Stratos: Mission to the Edge of Space," His capsule is highlighted in the exhibit, which will be on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., from now until May 26. At the exhibition’s close, Baumgartner's capsule, pressure suit and parachute will be housed at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Baumgartner's

Baumgartner supersonic Jump from the edge of space broke three records in addition to breaking the sound barrier. Highest manned balloon flight; float altitude of 128,097 feet (previous record: 113,740 feet); and Felix's top speed during freefall was 1,342.8kph (Mach 1.2).

“The gondola, which carried Felix Baumgartner 24 miles up into the air, and the pressure suit and the parachute, which protected him on his way down, are great additions to the museum’s collection of historic air and spacecraft technology and testing the human determination to achieve,” said Tom D. Crouch, the Smithsonian’s senior curator of aeronautics.

“Fully one-third of the museum’s collection of aircraft and spacecraft are “firsts” or associated with major historic events, or technological, scientific or cultural achievements.”

What was the mission of Red Bull Stratos?

Achievements of the mission, which included the development of a new generation of space suits and parachute systems, the establishment of protocols for exposure to the extreme conditions of pressure and temperature and the study of the impact of supersonic acceleration and deceleration on the human body.

Interestingly, Baumgartner’s jump occurred 65 years after test pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier flying an experimental rocket-powered airplane in 1948.

Red Bull has sponsored Felix Baumgartner in several of his past record-breaking events, they are ever supported of his dare devil zeal. In addition to the historic hardware, the exhibit includes audio-visual and interactive elements.

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