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Flying Television Studio': Here's a Look at the Tech Documenting the Historic 'Edge of Space' Jump


"beyond high definition"

You can see cameras mounted on the capsule facing Baumgartner in this image. (Image: YouTube screenshot)

TheBlaze has reported several times about the harrowing jump Felix Baumgartner is planning to undertake from the "edges of space." He has recently completed another successful test jump from more than 96,600 feet high, but his official jump will be at 120,000 feet, which is in Earth's stratosphere.

As amazing as Baumgartner's resolve to complete the Red Bull Stratos mission is, what's also fascinating is the technology that brings us the footage of these test jumps and, ultimately, the final jump itself. Red Bull recently shed some light on the imaging tech that makes this possible.

With the environment at these heights getting as cold as negative 60 degrees F and with zero air pressure, capturing these images is a challenge. Fifteen cameras taking both moving and still shots will be on board the capsule, and three cameras on Baumgartner's body will broadcast live coverage to the ground. An expert says the recording devices being used are "beyond high definition."

Aerospace Imagery Specialist Jay Nemeth calls the system as a whole a "flying television studio."

Although being tailored to capture footage of a body moving 690 miles per hour is the main goal for the cameras, just getting them to work under the high-altitude conditions will be the challenge. Nemeth said some of the cameras were modified to operate in space (meaning they could withstand the harsh environment) and other more complex cameras will be placed inside a chamber with an "Earth-like atmosphere" to keep them going.

Watch this short video from Red Bull, which highlights the technology that will document this event:

Joseph Kittinger, who made a record-setting jump at 103,000 feet in 1960, said the cameras will make it possible for those safely grounded on Earth to experience what Baumgartner feels -- to an extent -- during his historic jump.

Baumgartner's latest test jump at 17 miles high took about 1 1/2 hours to reach as a target altitude. He was in free fall for an estimated three minutes and 48 seconds before opening his parachutes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

(H/T: Gizmodo)

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