Medical Support and Outcomes Of a Manned Stratospheric Balloon and Free-Fall Parachute Flight Test Program
Nusbaum, Derek M.
Antonsen, Erik A.
Carminati, Maria-Vittoria "Giugi"
Clark, Jonathan B.
On October 24, 2014, the StratEx team successfully flew a manned balloon to an altitude of 41,422 m / 135,890 feet, from which the pilot was able to release and free fall safely to Earth. This accomplishment was the culmination of a multi-year program of design and testing of all the subsystems, and included thermal and vacuum chambers, airplane testing and multiple balloon flights. Exposure to such extreme environments carries with it significant risks. This paper focuses on the peculiar medical risks faced in such an endeavor, and the different approaches used to mitigate them, as well as describing the available treatment modalities were a mishap to occur.