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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Capsule Lands at L.A. Museum

One year after a record-setting high altitude skydive, the Red Bull Stratos capsule has touched down in Southern California. The 9 ½-foot tall, 3,000-pound capsule, designed and built by Sage Cheshire Aerospace in Lancaster, is included in an exhibit at the California Science Center that opened this month showcasing Felix Baumgartner’s death-defying leap from 24 miles above the Earth. Art Thompson, co-founder of Sage Cheshire, hopes what people come away with after viewing the exhibit is not just the nerve it took for Baumgartner to make his jump but how the science behind it can be applied to future space travelers. “There is an ongoing interest globally in this accomplishment and how it is going to benefit aerospace safety,” he said. Baumgartner’s jump on Oct. 14, 2012 was sponsored by Austrian energy drink maker Red Bull GbmH. It broke a 52-year record for highest free fall and put him at a top speed of Mach 1.24 – faster than the speed of sound. Thompson served as the jump’s technical director and assembled the engineering team that made the capsule and the pressurized suit worn by Baumgartner. He also put together the medical team that collected data to aid in understanding the effects of high-altitude falls on the human body. For the California Science Center exhibit, Thompson was involved with the layout and designed the structure holding the capsule in an upright position. “The public can see the science and the challenges to develop the technology that will save lives in future spaceflights,” he said. The Red Bull Stratos Exhibit will be at the California Science Center through Jan. 12. –Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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