Felix Baumgartner’s Last 24 Hours Before Red Bull Stratos Launch

Eva Baumgartner and son Felix for Red Bull Stratos

Eva Baumgartner and son Felix for Red Bull Stratos © Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

UPDATE/Spoiler Alert – he did it!

Felix Baumgartner will attempt to break the sound barrier in freefall on Sunday 14th October with a jump out of a space capsule from 120,000 feet / 36,576 meters. He has prepared for this over five long years – but intense anticipation may make the last 24 hours before take-off the most challenging of all.

ROSWELL (New Mexico) – When Felix Baumgartner wakes up on Monday morning, 24 hours before the highest jump mankind has ever seen, it will be with the knowledge that he has done everything he possibly can to prepare for his freefall from the edge of space. So as he waits for the countdown to begin, the most important thing Baumgartner can do is rest and save his energy for the long night of activities that will precede the dawn launch of the mammoth balloon.

I feel like a tiger in a cage waiting to get out,” said Baumgartner, 43, one of the world’s most celebrated B.A.S.E. jumpers and extreme athletes, who in 2003 became the first person to make a freefall flight across the English Channel with the aid of a carbon wing. He will be flying as fast as speeding bullet during his supersonic journey to Earth.

“I’ll probably feel the most anxious when I’m trying to sleep in the hours before I start getting ready – when everything’s quiet and it’s just me and my thoughts,” Baumgartner admits. “Once my day begins, I’ll have a lot to do and my mind will have something to focus on.”

Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Workout © Red Bull Media House gym, muscle, training, shirtless

Felix Baumgartner in the gym before Mission to the Edge of Space fro Red Bull Stratos © Red Bull Media House

Launch Minus 24 Hours: Baumgartner will start the day before the jump with a light cardio-based workout, mostly to “relax and loosen up,” according to Red Bull High Performance Director Andy Walshe.

Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Massage © Red Bull Media House

Felix Baumgartner 24 hours before launch © Red Bull Media House

Minus 18h30: The 43-year-old Austrian will return to his hotel to rest up. If he’s not ready to nap, Baumgartner can pass the time talking with his close friends and family, reading messages of support that have been pouring in from around the globe, drawing in his sketchbook – a pastime that he says helps to clear his mind – or mentally reviewing his checklists for the mission.

Minus 13h30: Baumgartner will join members of the crew for a light early dinner, but the food on his plate will be unique. For at least 24 hours before his jump, he must stick to a low-fiber diet prescribed by the mission’s medical team. It is vital for him to eat only foods that will clear his system quickly, without leaving residue that could create gas: a condition that can cause problems in the low-pressure of the stratosphere because it can expand in the body and cause serious discomfort.

Minus 12h00: Baumgartner will attempt to get to sleep early – before the sun has even set. He’ll try to eliminate every glimmer of outside light and shut out the noise of circulation fans or other guests in the halls. It is essential that he try to get some sleep before his pre-dawn wake-up call.

Minus 4h30: “When I need to ready, I’m always ready,” Baumgartner often says. And while he will try to sleep as long as possible, he’ll need to rise four to five hours before dawn to be ready for the intense day ahead.

Minus 3h30: Baumgartner will arrive at the launch site, accompanied by Walshe. Mission team leaders including Col. Joe Kittinger, Technical Project Director Art Thompson, and Meteorologist Don Day will provide a personal briefing on the launch preparations so far, which will have been underway for five hours.

Minus 4h00: Baumgartner will head to the runway where, as is habitual for the experienced pilot before every flight, he will conduct a meticulous inspection of the capsule.

Minus 2h30: In Baumgartner’s personal trailer, he will undergo a final medical check, and a compact, state-of-the-art physiological monitoring system will be strapped to his chest to be worn under his pressure suit throughout the mission.

Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Space Suit

Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Pressure Suit and Helmet

Minus 2h00: Life Support Engineer Mike Todd will dress Baumgartner in his suit, a painstaking process, and the Austrian will ‘pre-breathe’ oxygen for two hours to eliminate nitrogen from his bloodstream, which could expand dangerously at altitude. Videos will help pass the time as he awaits the announcement that his balloon inflation has begun and he can move to the capsule.

Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Headed for Launch Pad

Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Headed for Launch Pad

Felix Baumgartner Red Bull Stratos Capsule with Clear Acrylic Door

Minus 0h30: Baumgartner will be strapped into his capsule chair to conduct final instrument checks as directed by Mission Control. Then Capsule Engineer Jon Wells will seal the clear acrylic door. For a several more long minutes of anticipation, Baumgartner will await countdown and, finally, launch.

On 14th October 2012, reaching an altitude of 128,000 ft Felix completed the 28 item check list that included pressurising his suit and depressurising his capsule and a final undo his seatbelt and step out onto the edge of the platform. To leap into the record books and a hero’s welcome home. Read about Felix’s US Media Tour and welcome home to Austria.

Read more about the Red Bull Stratos Mission to the Edge of Space here.

For more stories like this please follow our reporter @alangreenhalgh on twitter

Comments

  1. A person essentially help to make critically posts I might state.

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  2. Albert de Gouveia says

    “Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you are” – Felix Baumgartner … Thanks for those powerful words of inspiration!!! Congratulations on your awesome achievement! You deserve the reward. Wishing you all the best for your next dream – keep daring today and tomorrow! I have quoted your achievement in resent talks and presentations, salute Felix!

  3. Awesome post. Just watched him jump and naturally one can assume how much work goes into preparing beforehand but very cool to see what he does mere hours before he jumps from the stratosphere.

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