Radar Reflector, Paragon StratEx Suit

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

On October 24, 2014, Dr. Alan Eustace used a state-of-the-art Pressure Suit Assembly to ascend to the top of the stratosphere beneath a large plastic balloon and sky dive back to Earth. He was reported as reaching a maximum altitude of 135,889 feet.

This radar reflector connected to a white spreader bar to reflect radar signals. The spreader bar also held the central parachute and two smaller parachutes on either end attached. When released from the balloon, the initial free fall was stabilized by a small drogue chute. The main chute opened at around 13,000 feet allowing for a controlled descent to a gentle landing.

Alan Eustace's landing was under a fully maneuverable rectangular parachute, similar in size and design to tandem parachutes used for sport, along with an emergency chute. The parachute cannot be opened from the ground. Landings were similar to normal parachute landings of tandem jumpers, with technique modifications given the front-mounted life support system.

The Eustace-Kwan family donated this item along with the suit to the Museum in 2015.