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Thursday, March 01, 2012

'The ZipSter' Planning Space Diver Powered Rocket Flight on Interorbital Booster

German SkyDiver/FreeFlyer Olav Zipser will ride a specially modified rocket to 131,000 ft., then dive back to Earth in an attempt to break Joe Kittinger’s 102,800 ft. high-altitude jump record, reports SatMagazine.

Olav will forego the previous balloon-lift method used by the current record-holder, and, instead, will jump from an Interorbital Systems’ SR 145 rocket. The launcher will propel Olav to an altitude of over 40 kilometers (about 25 miles)—higher than any manned balloon can possibly go—where he will eject from the launch vehicle and FreeFly back towards Earth. Zipser explained, “This initial record attempt will be the first of a whole program of increasingly higher dives, culminating with a FreeFly reentry from above the Karman line (100km), from a real space altitude. This is not a stunt. This is a research mission.”

Olav will wear a specially modified suit constructed by Russian spacesuit manufacturer Zvezda. The company will provide a customized Orlan spacesuit for the FreeFly mission. Data from Olav’s jumps will be applied to the continuing development of an emergency orbital reentry spacesuit for high-altitude and orbital rescue operations.

Zipser is competing for the record against Red Bull’s Felix Baumgartner, French adventurer Michel Fournier and StratoQuest Cheryl Stearns who are conducting balloon jumps. Olav will be the first to jump from a rocket. He commented, “The goal of the FreeFly Astronaut Project is to improve the odds of survival for mankind’s first space pioneers. Our program will help to create the capability to safely descend from the edge of space in case of emergency.” Zipser has signed on for five launches with Interorbital.

Interorbital Systems is very pleased to accept Olav Zipser's choice of our NEPTUNE-Series rocket system as the preferred method of ascent in his effort to break the world altitude skydiving record, and to amass a new collection of experimental data on the rapid FreeFlying descent from the zones between orbital EVAs and high altitude aircraft operations. We look forward to launching Olav Zipser on his "FreeFly Astronaut Program" in the fourth quarter of 2012 ," said Randa Milliron, CEO/CoFounder, Interorbital Systems.

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