Happy Kittinger Day!

Today is the anniversary of Joseph Kittinger’s third and highest parachute jump in 1960. Using a helium balloon, he reached an altitude of 31,300 meters; upon exiting the gondola, his speed peaked at something close to 618 mph. The film of the jump shows the curve of the earth and a sky that is quite black – he was a third of the way to the Karman Line (100 km up; the line that officially marks ‘space’). A couple clips, while I figure out how to embed videos into the blog: a short subject on Project Excelsior and a clip from the Discovery Channel showing the jump. Col. Kittinger is one of the unsung pioneers of the space age; prosit!

Update – Aug 16, 2012. In a classic case of link rot, both the above clips have been yanked from YouTube. Here are a couple others.

A newsreel piece:


There are a quite a few YouTube color clip assemblages with iffy soundtracks. This is not one of them:


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