Felix's dare-deviling space jump team used LabVIEW in their mission control to ensure his safety during the record-smashing Red Bull Stratos free fall jump.
On October 14, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner casually leapt from a platform 24 miles high.
The near five-minute free fall was viewed live by over 8 million viewers on YouTube alone, during which “Fearless Felix” broke the sound barrier with his body and landed gently in Roswell, New Mexico at 11:30 a.m. Baumgartner and his team spent many years preparing for the record-smashing jump—and the technology they used to ensure his safety included NI LabVIEW software.
Baumgartner’s survival wasn’t guaranteed. If he managed to avoid an unstoppable spin (he narrowly did), his life depended on the integrity of his pressure suit. At 102,800 feet, the temperatures plummet to 70 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The atmosphere was so thin that his blood would have vaporized if his equipment failed.
Testing his pressurized jump suit and helmet was a larger goal of the mission. His suit, equipped with sensors and recorders, measured everything from his speed to his heart rate. Back at mission control, his team used LabVIEW to monitor various I/O like altitude, pressure, and oxygen levels. In the future, such equipment could save an astronaut's life if a spacecraft malfunctions.
The Red Bull Stratos jump is proof that with proper testing and the right technologies, not even the sky is the limit for human accomplishment.
This altitude chamber video has great shots of LabVIEW. You can skip to 3 minutes to get to the actual test and shots of LabVIEW.