Monday, April 07, 2008

Aerospace history: Kittinger's Leap

Check out this awesome video of Colonel Joseph Kittinger's 16 August 1960 parachute jump from a balloon on the edge of space. The Air Force test pilot's records for highest parachute jump (from an astonishing 31.3 kilometers) and longest freefall still stand today, although there are a few daredevils trying to develop a practical way to exceed them.
Colonel Kittinger (b. 1928) went on to return to operational flying and was assigned to combat duty during the Vietnam war. He spent 11 months as a POW in North Vietnam. In 1984, he set another record by completing the the first solo Atlantic crossing by balloon.

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