By:Emma Zhang(Age 10)and Eddy Zhang(Age 8)
Have you ever dreamed of flying in the space? How about a freefall from the space? On Tuesday, October 27, 2015, we visited the Red Bull Stratos Exhibition in the West John Family Innovation Centre (Ontario Science Centre).
The goal of the Red Bull Stratos mission was to advance scientific discoveries in aerospace. An Austrian skydiver named Felix Baumgartner flew 39 kilometers into the stratosphere in a helium balloon and did a space jump toward earth. We got to see what Felix Baumgartner used during his drop and what his spacesuit looked like.
There were mirrors on Baumgartner’s spaceship because he has to see when his parachute pumps up, and he can’t move in his suit. He said the hardest part was that he had to stay in the spacesuit. They also had to use a truck to take off the spaceship. Baumgartner completed this on October 14, 2012. The balloon was filled up with helium. Helium is a gas that is lighter than air. During the jump, Baumgartner actually went supersonic—which means that he was falling so fast he broke the sound barrier!
We also interviewed Rachel Ward-Maxwell who is a researcher and programmer, and studies specifically space and astronomy sciences. She is the spokesperson of the exhibit. She told us that the purpose of this exhibit is to highlight all the scientific parts on Felix. It took Baumgartner nine months to practice until he could do the jump. It will take a couple of weeks for Felix to get back to his old self after the jump.
“It’s really exciting to have it be here and have a little piece of it and be part of it,” said Ward-Maxwell. She told us how exciting it was to showcase the pressurized spacesuit and the capsule.
“The Red Bull Stratos team are not planning to do another event like this,” said Ward-Maxwell, “They felt that they accomplished all their goals.” The team broke several records: speed in freefall (689 mph), height of freefall (114,829 feet), time in freefall (5 minutes and 35 seconds) and highest manned balloon flight with an estimated height of 120,000 feet. Wow!
We learned a lot about this single jump in this visit! We hope that you did too! For more information, visit the Red Bull Stratos website. (http://www.redbullstratos.com/)