Space tourism to be boosted by Red Bull Stratos tech
30th Apr 2012 | 09:10
Exclusive: Technologies developed for the Red Bull Stratos mission will benefit space tourism
The masterminds behind the Red Bull Stratos space jump mission have suggested that a number of the technologies created for the project will be utilised by manned space tourism efforts in the near future.
With the likes of Virgin Galactic set to make space tourism a realistic prospect to many in the coming years, personnel behind the tech used on the Red Bull Stratos mission have suggested that a number of the pioneering pieces of equipment developed to help Austrian Felix Baumgartner safely complete a 120,000 parachute jump from space will find new homes on the first tourism jaunts away from the planet.
“There have been so many advances that have been perpetrated by this program,” said Colonel Joe Kittinger, Red Bull Stratos Flight Operations and Safety coordinator and the current freefall record holder having jumped 102,000 feet from the edge of space back in 1960. He added: “We think there’s a lot of fallout from the project and the scientific community is very interested.”
Whilst much of the equipment set to be used on the Red Bull Stratos mission has been built specifically for use in the harsh environments of space. Kittinger revealed that the team had also developed a number of existing devices for use in the hostile, out-of-this-world locations.
“Most of the equipment we have is designed specifically for space, but we’ve taken an item that was not designed for space encapsulated it, cooled it down, and it works very well in a space environment,” Colonel Kittinger said of Stratos’ recording equipment in an exclusive interview with T3.
“These are challenges that the project had, making existing equipment, high tech, high quality equipment, available to operate in a space environment. We’ve modified an existing piece of equipment to work in space and certainly in the future that will be utilised.”
Offering further insight into the advancements set to pave the way for space tourism in the coming years Kittinger added: “The additional flexibility that the pressure suit will bring will certainly be an advantage in the future and there’s no telling how the other things we’ve encountered and modified on this program will be adaptable and usable in the future space equivalent project.
Kittinger’s comments were backed up by Art Thompson, Technical Project Director on the Red Bull Stratos mission. He said: “There is interest already and there’s been a request from them [Virgin Galactic] to look at some of the technologies that we’re developing to help them through the process. I know they’re looking at the parachute systems now.”
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