Nonprofit ‘Rising United’ Launches HERA RISING The First Ever Stratospheric Jump Done by a Woman
Nonprofit ‘Rising United’ Launches HERA RISING The First Ever Stratospheric Jump Done by a Woman

Event is Cornerstone to Four Year Female Equality and STEAM Education Campaign

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, August 29, 2023/ — Rising United, the nonprofit whose vision is to encourage girls and women everywhere to believe that when they set their minds to something, anything is possible, announced its first mission today – Hera Rising Hera Rising is an unprecedented global live event of the first ever stratospheric balloon jump from the edge of space done by a woman that is set to break current world records. The jump event will be the cornerstone of a four-year effort with the objective of reaching young women in diverse and underserved groups globally in their education journey via a free in-classroom or virtual STEAM related curriculum mirroring each stage of Hera Rising. Hera Rising will also extend beyond the classroom to inspire a generation to be empowered to pursue their dreams as the culmination of a multi-year awareness campaign that includes filmed content, museum exhibits and a speaking tour by the three female Hera Rising Mission Explorers.

Hera Rising builds upon the scientific learnings from the similar Red Bull Stratos and StratEx stratospheric jumps in 2012 and 2014 respectively but will exceed their World record exit altitude and achievements listed below.

● Freefall from the highest altitude by more than 1,100 m (3,609 ft.)

● Break the speed of sound unaided by 264 km/h (164 mph)

● Highest crewed balloon flight by 1,077 m (3,534 ft.)

● Longest freefall time

Through an extensive interview and medical evaluation process conducted over the last two years, three candidates from around the world have been identified to make the Hera Rising mission possible. Eliana Rodriquez (Colombia), Diana Valerin (Costa Rica) and Dr. Swati Varshney (India) are women who have broken barriers in STEAM careers, extreme sports, and skydiving, and are eager to take on the Hera Rising mission and inspire the next generation of women and girls to go higher than they ever dreamed. During the next year and a half, they will train together as the Hera Rising Mission Explorer Crew. Who will ultimately make it to the edge of space on launch day will be determined by the performance results of an arduous and exhaustive physical and mental training program being put in place by space, and extreme sports medicine experts.

To ensure the safety of the explorers, Hera Rising has partnered with a leader in Life Support and Space Suit Systems, and Mission Integration, Paragon Space Development Corporation—the same team who led the record-setting StratEx mission in 2014. Paragon is currently on the Axiom team which was selected by NASA to build the next generation spacesuit for the “Artemis Mission to the Moon.” The company has been in space life support design since 1999 and their collaboration with major world space institutions and utilization of the latest technological advancements and materials will further enhance the safety and probability of success of the mission.

The free curriculum will be overseen and developed by a group of leading STEAM educators recruited from around the world by Rising United and based on the scientific research collected from the Hera Rising mission. Led by top researchers, scientists, and companies globally, ten separate experiments will be brought to the edge of space in a proprietary 3D-Printed “Turtle Experimental Platform” (TEP). The experiments will include research and development of new women’s space suit designs including technologies and materials specifically dedicated to the advancement of women’s future in space, as well as gain better understanding of how the female mind and body responds to the increased stress of extreme environment situations. We are working with an Oak Ridge Laboratories-backed innovative 3D additive-manufacturing company Ascend to “print” the TEP and test how different 3D printing materials behave in the harshest of extreme conditions.

Today, Rising United launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $750,000 to underwrite Phase 1 of the program. Initial funding phase will start detailed space suit design, and development with Paragon Space Development Corporation, STEAM curriculum and in-classroom student kit development, mission brand development and design, marketing and communications, social media and community management, merchandise design and production and operational budgets to establish a presence at relevant conferences and acquire further funding.

“Like NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, Hera Rising will capture the imagination of the world,” said Hera Rising Chief Creative Officer and Rising United Founding Board Member Tito Melega. “Inspired by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda goals #4 and #5, quality education and female equality, we look to create a cultural moment to give female empowerment the moonshot it deserves.”

“Let me first just say how excited and proud I am of Paragon for being selected to be part of this ground-breaking effort,” stated Leslie Haas, Paragon’s VP of Business Development. “With our demonstrated experience, technical acumen, and dedication to innovative engineering, I’m confident that we’ll help build a first-class system to make this feat a resounding success. Secondly, I want to express how important this barrier-breaking endeavor is to me personally. As a woman with decades of time in engineering and aerospace, I think this challenge is extraordinary – not only will it inspire young women to be bold, overcome adversity and reach for the stars, but it is beneficial for the scientific and engineering industry as well. Finally, it is the uniquely ambitious kind of human trail-blazing spirit that inspires confidence, will set new records, and give hope to millions watching around the world. I can’t wait to see history made!” she added.

“The beauty of Hera Rising is that it will inspire young girls and women everywhere to feel more confident, empowered, and emboldened to follow and achieve their dreams,” noted Rising United Executive Director Dr. Diana Lockwood. “But it will also increase youth excitement, interest and participation in STEAM which is a great pathway to success.”

Dorrit Ragosine
Rising United
+1 2135097748
[email protected]
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