Meteorologist Says Red Bull Project Was Thrilling

Don Day -- Ron Richter Photo
Don Day -- Ron Richter Photo

A meteorologist who provides daily weather forecasts for 70 stations throughout the state, including Sheridan Media's, gave a presentation to a local audience this week on his job as chief meteorologist for a now historic stratospheric free-fall jump.

News Director Leslie Stratmoen was there and files this report.

Meteorologist Don Day told his captive audience Wednesday afternoon at the Chamber luncheon in Sheridan that his job on Felix Baumgartner's stratospheric jump through space tested all his mental muscle. It was a thrill, he said, to work with so many scientific experts, but he knew a missed call could be fatal for the test jumper.

When it was all over, after seven years of planning, a couple of failed test launches and forced repairs of equipment like the launch capsule and balloon, the Red Bull Stratos project proved a success. In October of 2012, Baumgartner became the fastest man on earth by breaking the sound bearer in a free-fall without an aircraft.

And Day was the man who gave the thumbs up for the launch.

And make it, he certainly did. He fell at a top speed of 843 mph for 10 minutes during his free fall from 128,000 feet in the stratospheric environment. Now, the science gained through the jump, specifically in the design of the custom-made pressurized suit and helmet, will be used by NASA.

And though the Red Bull company spent $40 million on the project, company heads believe the money spent was worth it, for the exposure to about a billion people who watched the event through several media sources, including an internet feed. Besides, Day said, that's the same amount companies spend to sponsor a Nascar for a year.

To hear the live audio of Day's presentation in Sheridan, click here.

To see the jump and read more about the Red Bull Stratos, go to:

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