Massive "dry cleaner bag" to lift skydiver

Associated Press
In this July 25, 2012 photo provided by Red Bull Stratos, a balloon lifts up during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, N.M. It’s described as a “40-acre dry cleaner bag,” that, when first filled, will stretch 55 stories high. On Monday, this special ultra-thin helium balloon is scheduled to liftoff from Roswell, N.M., to carry "Fearless Felix" Baumgartner 23 miles into the stratosphere for what he hopes will be a history-making, sound barrier-breaking skydive. (AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos)
.

View gallery

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — It's described as a "40-acre dry cleaner bag," that, when first filled, will stretch 55 stories high.

On Tuesday, this special ultra-thin helium balloon is scheduled to lift off from Roswell, N.M., to carry Felix Baumgartner 23 miles into the stratosphere for what he hopes will be a history-making, sound barrier-breaking skydive.

WHAT'S THE BALLOON MADE OF?

Strips of plastic film that are 0.0008 inches thick, or thinner than a Ziploc bag. If laid flat, this plastic would cover 40 acres.

WHO MADE IT?

ATA Aerospace of Albuquerque. Company officials said they were not authorized by Red Bull Stratos, which is funding the jump, to talk to the media. A fact sheet says it is designed after previous balloons used for over 60 years on high-altitude flights.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Helium balloons can easily be torn by the wind, so the launch will not take place unless wind speeds are less than 2 mph.

HAS IT BEEN TESTED?

No. Balloons of this type are so delicate that once out of the box they must be used immediately. The launch crew must wear clothing that can't snag it. Handlers must wear cotton gloves. Balloons used in test jumps were similar but smaller because they didn't have to go as high.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Helium is lighter than air, so the size depends on the weight of the payload and the altitude it must reach.

HOW BIG IS IT?

It can hold nearly 30 million cubic feet of helium, enough to hoist the 3,000-pound capsule carrying Baumgartner.

HOW LONG IS THE ASCENT?

2 ½ to 3 hours.

WHAT HAPPENS TO IT AFTER?

It will be separated from the capsule and parachute to earth.

___

Online:

http://www.redbullstratos.com/technology/high-altitude-balloon/

View Comments (63)

Recommended for You

  • Police officer shot after responding to wrong home

    ATLANTA (AP) — A police officer was shot and critically wounded Monday when he responded to a call of a suspicious person and showed up at the wrong house, authorities said.

    Associated Press
  • Man sentenced to life with no parole walks free in Missouri

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man sentenced to life in prison without parole on a marijuana-related charge walked out of a Missouri prison a free man on Tuesday, after spending two decades behind bars.

    Associated Press
  • Woman Becoming Nun Needs Friend's Interest, Not Concern

    DEAR ABBY: I was best friends with "Joanne" after we met in middle school. She comes from a conservative Christian family and has three successful siblings. This has made her quirky, media-driven pursuits and city life a disappointment to her family. When we were teens and she learned that I was a…

    Dear Abby
  • View

    Kentucky county clerk refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses (26 photos)

    Gay couples in a Kentucky county are expected at the courthouse door Tuesday morning after the Supreme Court ruled against a defiant clerk who has refused to hand out marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Supreme Court ruled against the county clerk who refused to issue gay marriage licenses,…

    Yahoo News
  • Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announces she's pregnant with twins

    As with the birth of her son three years ago, Mayer writes that she plans to limit the amount of maternity leave she takes.

    CNET
  • Boko Haram killers on horseback massacre nearly 80 in NE Nigeria

    Suspected Boko Haram gunmen on horseback shot dead nearly 80 people in attacks on three villages in Nigeria's restive northeast at the weekend, a vigilante and residents told AFP on Monday. Babakura Kolo, a vigilante fighting Boko Haram, said 68 people were killed in the attack on Baanu village in…

    AFP
  • Migrants protest as Hungary shutters Budapest train station

    By Krisztina Than BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hundreds of angry migrants demonstrated outside Budapest's shuttered Eastern Railway Terminus on Tuesday, demanding that they be allowed to travel on to Germany, as a migration crisis put the European Union's rules under unprecedented strain. Hungarian…

    Reuters
  • This versatile 15-in-1 Travel Jacket is Kickstarter’s most funded piece of clothing at $7.2M

    Remember the MacGyver Travel Jacket that has 15 compartments that each have their own designated functions? It turns out that so many people loved the idea of having such a “smart” jacket that the project became the most funded piece of clothing in Kickstarter history, topping $7.2 million in…

    BGR News
  • Real say De Gea transfer not their fault

    Real Madrid said on Tuesday they had done everything needed to complete the signing of goalkeeper David De Gea from Manchester United before Monday's midnight deadline and hinted that the English club were to blame for the deal's failure. Spain goalkeeper De Gea was all set to join Real but is now…

    Reuters53 mins ago
  • Play

    Woman was getting high on canned air at Kansas Walmart, police say

    Melissa Ann Wright is accused of huffing an industrial strength duster chemical while shopping at a Kansas area Walmart.

    KTRK – Houston
  • Obama slams 'completely unacceptable' cop killing

    President Barack Obama vowed Monday to push for police officer safety after a Texas sheriff's deputy was gunned down from behind and shot multiple times at close range. Darren Goforth, 47, was killed late Friday in the Houston area, and local officials have blamed ramped-up rhetoric against police…

    AFP
  • Daughter Deep In Debt Needs Counseling, Not More Money

    DEAR ABBY: Three years ago I gave my adult daughter, married with a child, more than $16,000 to help pay off her debts because she couldn't pay her bills. She and her husband maintain separate accounts, which I find odd. He pays certain expenses; she pays others. Now I find she's deep in debt again…

    Dear Abby
  • Video of Israeli soldier arresting boy becomes latest in war of perception

    A soldier pins a boy down and is assaulted by his family: The scene might have gone unnoticed if not for footage that has turned it into another weapon in the Israel-Palestinian war of perception. Palestinians see it as proof of Israel's abuses in the occupied West Bank, while many Israelis say the…

    AFP
  • Missouri man faces execution for raping, killing 15-year-old

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — An inmate scheduled to be executed Tuesday for killing a 15-year-old Missouri girl has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his punishment, saying the death penalty is unconstitutional.

    Associated Press
  • With help, small island states ditch diesel for cheaper, cleaner energy

    By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After oil prices hit a record high in July 2008, the tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands was forced to declare an economic emergency since around 90 percent of its energy needs were met by imported petroleum products. The fuel price…

    Reuters
  • All eyes on Manchester United as deadline day dawns

    Manchester United were the centre of attention as the Premier League's transfer deadline day dawned on Tuesday, with moves involving David de Gea and Anthony Martial awaiting completion. Goalkeeper De Gea had appeared on the brink of a move to Real Madrid worth between 30 million ($33.8 million)…

    AFP
  • CERN: Test results show more detail about 'God particle'

    GENEVA (AP) — After three years of scrutinizing the elusive Higgs boson closely, scientists say they've determined that the "God particle" behaves just as predicted.

    Associated Press