November 28, 2012
Teaching kids to dream about and visualize great things is the goal of Sage Cheshire’s Art Thompson who, with a team of the world’s best minds, recently set new aerospace records with Red Bull Stratos, a mission to the edge of space.
The students and faculty of Brighton Hall, a K-12 college prep for young professionals, were the beneficiary of a master class on creativity in the context of aerospace on Wednesday. Art Thompson and Mike Todd presented an overview of Red Bull Stratos, a scientific mission to the edge of space.
The goal of the Stratos program was to understand human survivability outside of pressurized air- or spacecraft using vintage and modern technology. Taking people beyond the Armstrong line of about 62,000 vertical feet above the earth is a very tricky business due to the tendency of human blood to boil at and beyond that altitude without a pressure chamber.
The Stratos team learned many things during the mission, data that will be shared with NASA and others who dare to explore near space and beyond. A pressurized suit is necessary equipment to explore those environs and on display for students and faculty to examine was the actual suit Felix Baumgartner wore when he jumped from an altitude of more than 127,000 feet.
Stratos’ Life Support Engineer Mike Todd explained the reasons for this special suit and how it differed from other types of pressure suits used in aircraft. Since the mission involved a free-falling human, unique considerations had to be made in the construction, engineering and materials.
Art Thompson, Vice President of Sage Cheshire Aerospace which was the prime contractor for Red Bull Stratos, showed images and video from the mission to a rapt audience. He also spoke about the creative process from concept to execution to help those who dare to dream.
About a hundred students, parents and faculty attended the presentation. This is one lucky group to have been able to see the actual suit in which new records were set in the manned exploration of space.