The Red Bull Stratos installation at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, OH will be available through March 16 of this year. The exhibit was launched with a presentation featuring Col. (Ret.) Joe Kittinger, Art Thompson and Jonathan Clark. We encourage interested parties to visit the display, leave comments on our facebook page and to support the good work of the museum and all of its staff and volunteers.
By Susan Richardson
On 3 October 2013, Mr. Thomas Bowen passed away following an extended battle with respiratory illness. The high altitude reconnaissance community lost a true champion and mentor. Mr. Bowen entered the U.S. Air Force on 8 August 1949 as a life support technician. His first assignment was Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. He supported B-29 bombers, including the Enola Gay that was assigned to his squadron. He was also assigned to Mountain Home AFB, ID and Plattsburg AFB, NY, supporting B-47s and B-57s. Mr. Bowen’s first overseas assignment was with the South Korean Air Force, supporting P-51s. In 1956, he attended Pressure Suit School at Maxwell AFB, AL and disappeared into the “Black World.” His high altitude physiological support included all the early CIA pilots. In 1960, he was waiting in Norway to recover the aircraft of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, who was shot down over the Soviet Union.
In 1974, as a civil servant, Mr. Bowen returned to the U.S. Air Force’s high altitude U-2 reconnaissance program at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. In 1976, when high altitude military reconnaissance was consolidated under the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, he moved with the U-2 program to Beale AFB, CA. Mr. Bowen was a highly respected mentor, sharing his experience and knowledge with both life support and physiological training personnel. During his career, he personally trained hundreds of high altitude pilots, reconnaissance systems officers, and passengers. He recently trained high altitude jumper, Felix Baumgartner, who went on to break the high altitude free fall record [under Red Bull Stratos], jumping from a balloon 24 miles above the Earth in 2012. Mr. Bowen retired from his position as Technical Director of the 9th Physiological Support Squadron, Beale AFB, CA, in 2012, and was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service award for demonstrated significant accomplishments, leadership, unusual competence, and significant impact upon the Air Force mission throughout his career.
In total, Mr. Bowen’s career spanned nearly six decades of service and includes 21 years active duty in the United States Air Force, 4 years with the Central Intelligence Agency in life sciences, and 36 years as Chief of Life Sciences and Technical Director for U-2/TR-1/ER-2/SR-71 high altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (HAISR) programs. He provided technical guidance to Lockheed’s Skunk Works and the David Clark Company on aircraft life support systems, full pressure suit (FPS) development, and survival equipment. He has been primary consultant to all U-2 and SR-71 mishaps that involved life support systems. An innovator and forward thinker, he pushed to design mission-specific life support equipment including the seat kit configuration for harsh environments, the automatic deployment system, and the implementation of the zero-zero ejection seat capability for U-2/ER-2 aircraft.
Additionally, Mr. Bowen was instrumental in the development of FPS-specific training programs including high altitude chamber flights, egress training, water survival, and field escape and resistance programs tailored to the HAISR mission. He has ensured the advancement of life support systems for HAISR aircraft for the CIA, USAF, NASA, and international U-2 programs for the United Kingdom and China. In 2006, Tom was honored by the Aerospace Physiology Society with the Fred A. Hitchcock Award for Excellence in Aerospace Physiology.
Mr. Bowen was a true visionary and leader; his legacy of technical support to the DoD Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance programs will never be surpassed.
On Saturday, November 16, 2013, the International Air & Space Hall of Fame will induct Art Thompson, Colonel Joe Kittinger and Felix Baumgartner for their distinguished work on the Red Bull Stratos project.
Art Thompson will share the spotlight with other Class of 2013 inductees who’ve bravely pioneered significant milestones in aerospace and aviation. Other notable inductees are Capt. Sullenberger, Co-Pilot Jeff Skiles and crew of US Airways Flight 1549, US Navy ace Dean “Diz” Laird, Apollo16, NASA’s Mission Control and WWII triple-ace Bud Anderson among others.
Computer fluid dynamics modeling of the Red Bull Stratos capsule in free fall: 156 fps (106 mph), minus 55 F, capsule door open, 2 degrees nose down, 80,000 feet in altitude.
Computer fluid dynamics modeling of the Red Bull Stratos capsule: 18 fps (under parachute), 50 degrees F, capsule door open, 2 degrees nose down,15,000 feet altitude.
The CFD analysis was done at Sage Cheshire using SolidWorks Computer Fluid Dynamics Software. SolidWorks was used to draft and design the Red Bull Stratos capsule, crush pad, life support and capsule electrical layout and deign. http://www.solidworks.com/
Lufthansa Cargo flies Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull space capsule
“Stratos” space capsule leaves the Californian desert for Salzburg, Austria
From air freight to space freight – Lufthansa Cargo flew the Red Bull “Stratos” space capsule from Los Angeles to Frankfurt at the weekend. In October 2012, Austrian extreme sport legend Felix Baumgartner jumped out of this very capsule from a height of almost 128,000 feet. In collaboration with the “Schaefer Trans Inc.” transportation company, the flying machine was moved on a flat-bed trailer from the facility of the “Sage Cheshire Aerospace” manufacturer in the Californian desert to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The 1.45-tonne capsule was then reloaded onto a Boeing 777F of AeroLogic, a joint venture between Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express.
Following the transatlantic flight to Frankfurt, the space capsule was reloaded onto a special flat-bed trailer and transported to Salzburg. The capsule and the spacesuit worn by Felix Baumgartner will be displayed alongside other flying machines and sports cars in Hangar-7, Red Bull’s own aircraft museum in Salzburg Airport, in the future.
The safe transport of the space capsule was the main concern of Arthur Thompson, Project Manager and CEO of manufacturer Sage Cheshire Aerospace. “The biggest challenge is getting such a big object to its destination in one piece”, explained Thompson. “Thanks to our many years of experience with vehicle prototypes built by us and shipped to Europe with Lufthansa Cargo, I know that the company is very well equipped to handle large, heavy and especially irreplaceable cargo.”
Austrian Felix Baumgartner ascended into the stratosphere in the space capsule on 14 October 2012 with the aid of a helium balloon. From a height of 24,214 miles, he free-fell towards the earth at speeds of up to 843.6 mph, setting multiple records in the process. Besides achieving the record for the highest altitude jump, Baumgartner was also the first person to break the sound barrier in a free fall. The jump was broadcast live on various media channels and on television worldwide and is considered one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time.
Lufthansa Press Release
May 13, 2013 by Merryl Azriel
The International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) has awarded the 2013 Jerome Lederer Safety Pioneer Award to Art Thompson and the Red Bull Stratos team who made possible Felix Baumgartner’s recordbreaking stratospheric skydive in October 2012.
“Art Thompson and The Red Bull Stratos Team have substantially advanced the human knowledge and capability for using high altitude parachuting as a means for ensuring safe crew escape during at least part of a space mission and possibly one day ‘parachuting from space’ in case of emergencies,” explains IAASS President Tommaso Sgobba.
Art Thompson was Technical Project Director and the engineer behind the Red Bull Stratos capsule. Known for his creative approach to technical challenges, Thompson’s work has encompassed development of the B-2 stealth bomber for Northrop Corporation and design of the Batmobile for the film Batman & Robin. He co-founded Sage Cheshire Aerospace Inc., which took on the Red Bull Stratos challenge. The Red Bull Stratos team also includes space safety advocate and six-time NASA Space Shuttle crew surgeon Jonathan Clark who served as medical director for the undertaking, mentor and prior record holder Joe Kittinger, life support engineer Mike Todd, program manager and senior flight test engineer Marle Hewett, skydiving consultant Luke Aikins, and high performance director Andy Walshe.
The Jerome Lederer Space Safety Pioneer Award is awarded biennially to an individual or group who has made outstanding contributions in the field of space safety. The award consists of a solid silver handmade statuette reproducing the “Winged Victory,” or Nike (Greek for “victory”) of Samothrace, standing on a hemisphere representing the surface of Mars.
The award is named in honor of Jerome Lederer, an American aviation-safety pioneer. In 1947, Lederer organized the Flight Safety Foundation and was its director until 1967. In 1967, following the deaths of three astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA appointed Lederer director of the Office of Manned Space Flight Safety for the Apollo Program. In 1970, he became director of safety for all of NASA.
The award will be presented at the upcoming IAASS Conference Gala Dinner on May 22 in Montreal, Canada.
Outstanding NEW APPROACHES SPORTS EVENT COVERAGE
Red Bull Stratos: Space Jump YouTube
Red Bull Media House
Scott Bradfield, Werner Eksler, Charlie Rosene
Scott Gillies, Claude Ruibal
Karin Bock-Leitert, Jochen Sterrer
David Brooks, Tim Katz, Jay Nementh, Madeline Zeringue
Matthias Leister, Scott Lewers, Eileen O’Neil, Thomas Reidel, Robert Scanlon, Jacqueline Voss, Anna Wolferman
Colonel Joseph Kittinger to Receive Henderson Award at June NAA Luncheon
From April-May 2013 The NAA Record
Colonel Joseph Kittinger, USAF, (Ret.) was selected to receive the 2013 Cliff Henderson Trophy, which will be presented to him at the NAA Luncheon on June 18, 2013 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
The Cliff Henderson Trophy, which resides at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, was established in 1960 by the National Aviation Club (now part of NAA) to honor the creator and Managing Director of the world-renowned National Air Races from 1928-1939. His work stimulated a generation’s interest in aviation and challenged the state of the art in aviation development.
In that spirit, the trophy is awarded to “. . .a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.”
On August 16, 1960, Kittinger became an aviation pioneer with the “highest step in the world” when he made history as he ascended to 102,800 feet in a high-altitude balloon and jumped to Earth. During a distinguished Air Force career, Kittinger served as a test pilot, Squadron Commander, and Vice Wing Commander.
In addition, he spent 11 months as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. After retiring from the Air Force he set two world ballooning records and won numerous ballooning competitions. Kittinger is a NAA Elder Statesman of Aviation; was awarded a Lifetime Achievement in Aviation trophy from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; was made an Honorary U.S. Army Golden Knight; and is enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame and the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame. To date, he has logged more than 16,800 hours of flying time in over 93 aircraft. His adventures are detailed in his autobiography, Come Up and Get Me.
Most recently, Colonel Kittinger served as Capsule Communications as Mission Control’s primary point of radio contact with Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos Project. Click here to register for the June 18 NAA Luncheon where Kittinger will receive his award.