Mojave Experimental Fly-in Set for Saturday

The Mojave Air and Space Port’s tarmac will be filled with aircraft of all types as the annual Mojave Experimental Fly-in is held on Saturday, April 15. The event is free to all.  For more information, visit

On Saturday at 11 a.m., pilot Rob “Skid” Rowe will be speaking in the board room about his experience testing the Red Bull Stratos capsule that Felix Baumgartner used to set a sky diving altitude record in 2012.

On Friday evening, the 3rd Annual Indoor RC & Free Flight Build & Fly Competition will be held beginning at 5 p.m. at the Stuart O. Witt Event Center. Register here.

NASA, Tesla Motors and Red Bull Stratos Make PopSci Best of What’s New List

Four NASA projects, an electric car produced by Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, and the pressure suit worn by Felix Baumgartner during his record skydiving jump have all made Popular Science‘s Best of What’s New 2012 list.

The following project were recognized in the Aerospace category:

  • Mars Curiosity Sky Crane » Read
  • NASA Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) » Read
  • NASA PhoneSat  » Read
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Asteroid Anchors » Read
  • Red Bull Stratos Pressure Suit » Read

The Tesla Model S sedan won the Grand Prize in the Auto category. The magazine described the electric vehicle in a press release:

The Tesla Model S sets the standard by which all future electronic vehicles will be measured. It is faster than any other street-legal electric vehicle, with a motor that generates a peak 416 horsepower. The family-size sedan can dart from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. The Tesla Model S can also drive farther on a charge than any other electric car—up to 300 miles on the optional 85-kilowatt-hour battery.

Tesla’s sedan also captured Motor Trend’s Car of the Year honors this week.

A NASA press release about PhoneSat, in which a smart phone was used to power a satellite, follows after the break.


Baumgartner Hates Mars Exploration…and Greek Lorry Drivers

It seems as though skydiving daredevil Felix Baumgartner not only has a distinct dislike for Mars exploration but also for Greek truck drivers who get in his way:

Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner has been found guilty of punching a Greek lorry driver in the face in a road rage incident in his home town of Salzburg, Austria two years ago.

Baumgartner, who last month broke the world record altitude for a parachute jump in the Red Bull Stratos project, had appealed against the conviction for assault but a three-judge appeals panel today upheld the verdict.

Baumgartner, 43, was fined 1,500 euros but escaped jail for the assault on September 30, 2010.

The victim, named only as Dimitrios P, 38, for legal reasons, told Austrian media that the punch came ‘out of the blue’ and left ‘blood everywhere’.

Read the full story.

Branson: I’ve Stopped Counting the Days to Commercial SpaceShipTwo Flights

Will Whitehorn gives a pat on the back to Richard Branson as he greets Virgin Galactic ticketholders during the Oshkosh air show in 2009.

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Eight years after launching the SpaceShipTwo program, Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson is beginning to sound a bit impatient with progress even as the first powered tests of the 8-person space plane appear imminent. The Associated Press reports from Warsaw, Poland:

He says it will be at least another 12 or 18 months before the Virgin Galactic venture can offer paid space travel to adventurers….

Asked about Virgin Galactic, Branson said he has “stopped counting” days to the launch because it gets delayed “to the next year, to the next year.”


Felix Baumgarther to Jump From Edge of Space on Tuesday Morning

Felix Baumgartner will attempt to set a new skydiving record on Tuesday morning by jumping from 120,000 feet. If successful, he will break the record of 102,800 feet set by U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger in 1960. The Red Bull Stratos mission is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT (5:30 a.m. PDT) from Roswell, N.M. if weather permits. Baumgartner will ascend in a pressurized capsule attached to a balloon.

Here’s how to follow the mission:

For more information, visit

Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos Jump Planned for Oct. 8

Felix Baumgartner tests the mobility of his pressure suit shell during high altitude skydive training over the Mojave desert in preparation for the Red Bull Stratos mission where he hopes to freefall back to Earth from 120,000 feet in 2010. Photo credit: Luke Aikins for Red Bull Media HouseROSWELL, N.M. (Red Bull Stratos PR) — The final countdown for Felix Baumgartner’s history making jump from the edge of space began on Monday after the Red Bull Stratos Technical Project Director Art Thompson declared the repaired space capsule is fit and all systems are go.

The tentative launch date for Baumgartner’s attempt to jump from an altitude of 36,576 meters has now been set for October 8, ending a period of uncertainty for the team and, for Baumgartner, the agony of waiting. The Austrian extreme sport athlete had to endure delays due to the repairs but is now delighted that the countdown is on for his attempt to become the first person to break the sound barrier in freefall and set four other world records in the process.


Video: Baumgartner Dives from 96,000 Feet

Video Caption: Felix Baumgartner completed a second test dive from a balloon hoisted capsule. He reached 536 mph in the freefall. His objective is to break the speed of sound on his next dive from 120,000 feet.

Baumgarter Completes Second Test Jump

A balloon carrying Felix Baumgartner over the skies of Roswell, NM. (Credit: Red Bull Stratos)

Felix Baumgartner landed safely yesterday after jumping from 96,640ft (29,455m) at a top speed of 536mph (863kph) over Roswell, N.M. This was Baumgartner’s second test dive before he tries to set a new dive record this Fall under the Red Bull Stratos project.

Awesome Video of Felix Baumgartner’s Test Jump

Video Caption: On March 15, 2012, Austria’s Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a space capsule from an altitude of approximately 71,580 feet as the Red Bull Stratos project moved forward into the manned flight stage in New Mexico. The 42-year-old rode the space capsule attached to a giant helium balloon above the so-called “Armstrong Line.” The goal of the Red Bull Stratos project is to see Baumgartner attempt a record-breaking freefall from 120,000 feet this summer where he’ll potentially become the first man to go supersonic without the support of a vehicle.

Baumgartner Does Test Jump From 13.6 Miles

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria seen before his jump at the first manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on March 15 2012. In this test he reach the altitude 21800 meters (71500 ft) and landed safely near Roswell. (Credit: Jay Nemeth/Red Bull Content Pool)

ROSWELL, NM (Red Bull Stratos PR) – At precisely 9:50 a.m., Felix Baumgartner landed with his parachute in the New Mexico desert nearly 30 miles away from Roswell, wearing a spacesuit as he safely completed a journey towards the edge of space. Just 1 hour and 40 minutes earlier the extreme athlete from Austria had lifted off from Roswell on board a space capsule attached to a 165-foot-high helium balloon that brought him to an altitude of nearly 71,580 feet.


Baumgartner Prepares to Break Skydiving Record in Roswell, NM

Felix Baumgartner tests the mobility of his pressure suit shell during high altitude skydive training over the Mojave desert in preparation for the Red Bull Stratos mission where he hopes to freefall back to Earth from 120,000 feet in 2010. Photo credit: Luke Aikins for Red Bull Media HouseTogether with a team of aerospace experts, Austrian extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner is ready to rise to the challenge of the Mission Red Bull Stratos. His aim is to jump from a balloon in the stratosphere from an altitude of 36,57 meters (120,000 feet) and perform a record-breaking freefall. Baumgartner wants to become the first person to break the speed of sound without the protection of an aircraft while simultaneously collecting data never obtained before for the advancement of medical science. After testing in an elaborate altitude (vacuum) chamber in Texas, the mission has moved on to a decisive phase at Roswell, New Mexico.

ROSWELL, New Mexico (United States) – The Red Bull Stratos team is making final preparations for their attempt to break Colonel Joe Kittinger’s 52-year-old record, a freefall from 31,333 meters (102,800 feet) during his historic “Excelsior III” project in 1960. Joe Kittinger has been involved as an advisor to the Red Bull Stratos project from the very beginning and serves as a mentor to the 41-year-old Austrian athlete.

Felix Baumgartner has already completed record-breaking B.A.S.E jumps in some of the world’s most spectacular locations, such as the World Financial Center T101 in Taipei, one of the world’s tallest buildings. He also did one of the lowest B.A.S.E. jumps ever when he leapt from the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. In 2003 Baumgartner used carbon wings attached to his body to become the first man to skydive across the English Channel.


Red Bull Suspends Space Diving Plan Due to Lawsuit

Felix Baumgartner tests the mobility of his pressure suit shell during high altitude skydive training over the Mojave desert in preparation for the Red Bull Stratos mission where he hopes to freefall back to Earth from 120,000 feet in 2010. Photo credit: Luke Aikins for Red Bull Media House

Supersonic freefall bid put on hold

Felix Baumgartner’s quest to achieve a supersonic parachute jump has run into some legal turbulence.

Energy drinks maker Red Bull, which is sponsoring the effort, said today that it is stopping the program “with immediate effect” pending the outcome of a “multimillion dollar lawsuit” filed earlier this year by a man claiming certain rights to the project.

Working under the auspices of the Red Bull Stratos program, Baumgartner was aiming to be the first person ever to hit supersonic speeds in the atmosphere without the protection of an aircraft around him. The Austria-born daredevil, who has in excess of 2,000 parachute jumps to his credit–often from stunningly low altitudes–was to ascent to the rarefied height of 120,000 feet (23 miles) in a pressurized gondola below a balloon, and then jump.

Read the full story.

Video: The Red Bull Stratos Camera System

Falling from the edge of Space: Lights, Camera, Freefall! The Stratos mission team gives an exclusive look at the custom camera systems that will record and broadcast Felix Baumgartner’s stratospheric mission later this year. Bringing together high definition and real time images to a supersonic freefall in the hostile environment of 23 miles / 36 km above earth won’t be easy.