Interorbital Systems To Lift SpaceDiver On Record Attempt
MOJAVE, Calif. — German SkyDiver/FreeFlyer Olav Zipser will ride a specially modified Interorbital Systems rocket to 131,000 ft., then dive back to Earth in an attempt to break Joe Kittinger’s 102,800 ft. high-altitude jump record.
Olav will forego the previous balloon-lift method used by the current record-holder, and, instead, will jump from an Interorbital Systems’ SR 145 rocket. The launcher will propel Olav to an altitude of over 40 kilometers (about 25 miles)—higher than any manned balloon can possibly go—where he will eject from the launch vehicle and FreeFly back towards Earth. Zipser explained, “This initial record attempt will be the first of a whole program of increasingly higher dives, culminating with a FreeFly reentry from above the Karman line (100km), from a real space altitude. This is not a stunt. This is a research mission.”
Olav will wear a specially modified suit constructed by Russian spacesuit manufacturer Zvezda. The company will provide a customized Orlan spacesuit for the FreeFly mission. Data from Olav’s jumps will be applied to the continuing development of an emergency orbital reentry spacesuit for high-altitude and orbital rescue operations.
Olav Zipser Chooses Interorbital Systems’ Rocket for World-Record Skydive Attempt
Zipser said, “This initial record attempt will be the first of a whole program, culminating with a dive from above the Karman line (100km), from a real space altitude. This is not a stunt. This is a research mission. I created the sport of FreeFlying and have gathered a great deal of important data, but more work is required. That’s why committing to five rocket launches with IOS; these FreeFly events will happen at increasingly higher altitudes. This scientific data will be gathered to develop a safe return method that will benefit the entire aerospace industry — I can even see this as a new extreme sport with unlimited potential.”
Zipser is competing for the record against Red Bull’s Felix Baumgartner and French adventurer Michel Fournier who are both conducting balloon jumps. Olav will be the first to jump from a rocket. He commented, “The goal of the FreeFly Astronaut Project is to improve the odds of survival for mankind’s first space pioneers. Our program will help to create the capability to safely descend from the edge of space in case of emergency.” Zipser has signed on for five launches with Interorbital.