On Neil Armstrong`s 80th birthday, Felix Baumgartner joins astronaut for rare television interview.
Panel of legendary space explorers encourage Red Bull Stratos pilot as he prepares to become the first to break the speed of sound in freefall.
Salzburg, Austria – August 6, 2010 – On Thursday 5 August, a historic television broadcast on ServusTV documented the meeting of Red Bull Stratos Pilot Felix Baumgartner with aerospace legend Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The appearance was one of Armstrong’s first television interviews in four decades and coincided with the date of his 80th birthday.
Also joining the conversation were pioneering aviators Alexei Leonov, the Russian the first to man to walk in space, and Thomas Reiter, who took part in the European Space Agency’s longest manned space mission and was the first German to conduct a space walk. The groundbreaking legends of aerospace offered encouragement to Baumgartner as he prepares an aerospace breakthrough of his own: to become the first person to break the speed of sound in freefall.
In acknowledging Baumgartner, Leonov, and Reiter, Armstrong noted, “I find it interesting that we have four fliers here, all of which are better known for getting out of something than for flying it… We can’t all stay inside flying machines!”
It’s a point that’s well taken by Baumgartner, because a primary objective of his Red Bull Stratos freefall attempt from 120,000 feet above Earth is to provide data and protocols that may help to pave the way for high-altitude bailout, particularly in capturing new research information by attaining supersonic speeds.
On that subject, Armstrong commented, “Before the middle of the 1940s many distinguished engineers believed it was not possible to go supersonic. They thought the craft would disintegrate, which was complete nonsense.”
He continued, “I think a human can go supersonic; I believe that’s true. There are possible difficulties. I’m not sure they’ll exhibit themselves until you are fast enough, or in dense enough air that you start to create shockwaves. And when shockwaves influence your ability to stabilise yourself, that’s a difficult area to predict. But I think it’s possible.”
After the programme, Baumgartner said, “This has been an honor. These men are heroes in every sense of the word, and to hear their stories and receive their encouragement firsthand is inspiring. I’m determined that our Red Bull Stratos mission will honour their legacy by making new contributions.”
About Red Bull Stratos
Red Bull Stratos is a mission to the edge of space. Pilot Felix Baumgartner will ascend to the stratosphere in an attempt to launch a freefall jump that would see him become the first person to break the speed of sound with the human body. The data captured by this mission and its team of world-leading scientists promises new standards in aerospace safety, expanding the boundaries of human flight.