Joseph Kittinger, An Aviation Hero

Where No Man has gone before……

August 16, 1960

Joe Kittinger, flying an open gondola  superpressure balloon, reached an altitude of 102,800 feet. over 19 miles straight up.  After ascending for 89 minutes, he reached his targeted altitude and, even with a defective suit, jumped out and parachuted back to earth.

Here is some of the back story on this amazing feat.

Although this jump, from the Excelsior III, did shatter existing world’s records, they were not sent to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), as they were United States Air Force records . This project showed that the first astronauts could safely parachute from a sub-orbital space craft (capsule) and return to earth.  These records stood for 52 years, broken by Felix Baumgartner in 2012.  Joe served as Baumgartner’s mentor and Capsule Communicator for Red Bull Stratos.

Here is a video biography of Col. Joseph Kittinger and some of his amazing adventures.


Central Florida Shorts: Spaceman Joe Kittinger


He truly went where no man has gone before.