How did Felix Baumgartner's pressure suit and space capsule keep him alive?

This clip explores the science behind how a pressure suit and space capsule kept Felix Baumgartner alive in such a dangerous environment.

As Felix Baumgartner made the journey to the edge of space his survival depended on two crucial pieces of equipment: his pressure suit and space capsule. His capsule was pressurised to protect him from the near vacuum of space outside, conditions that would literally make his blood boil. His first line of defence, however, was his space suit which he had to pressurise himself before making his descent. The suit had to be specially designed to allow him the freedom to manoeuvre whilst in free-fall. Even so, Felix struggled with the suit and things could have ended in disaster during training.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used to stimulate discussion about material science. Students could be asked to consider what properties the materials used to construct Felix's space suit and capsule would need to withstand extreme altitude. This is the third of six clips from ‘The Science of Space Dive’ and this clip could be used in conjunction with the others.

Curriculum Notes

This clip could be relevant to teaching Science at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at National 4/5 or Higher in Scotland.