On October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner jumped to Earth from a balloon 24 Miles above New Mexico and made history. The 43 year-old Austrian became the first skydiver to break the sound barrier, reaching a maximum velocity of 834 mph (Mach 1.24) and setting records for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump and fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere.
As he rose to record heights in the stratosphere for his jump, Baumgartner was protected in a specially-built pressurized capsule. At his jump altitude, the air pressure is less than 2% of what it is at sea level, making it impossible to breathe without an oxygen supply.
Two Essex 10 liter LOX converters were installed on the capsule which provided Baumgartner with oxygen to breathe at the elevated altitude. Additionally, an Essex 25 liter nitrogen converter and three heat exchangers were used for this record-breaking event.
Eight million YouTube viewers have watched Baumgartner’s achievement and National Geographic has released a documentary in conjunction with the BBC called “Space Dive”. Check it out to see if you can spot the Essex equipment.