Pat Shingleton: "A Balloon from Space..."
On this date in 1960, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittenger attempted the impossible. Kittenger donned four layers of clothing and left New Mexico in a gondola attached to a helium balloon. No one before had ever ventured into space this way and Captain Kittenger’s flight plan included a trip skyward for 19 miles and a never before attempted jump back to earth. As temperatures dipped to 100 degrees below zero he soared to 102,800 feet and parachuted. Falling for four minutes and 37 seconds, his camera captured the curvature of the earth and the emptiness of space. At 14,000 feet his parachute opened and he landed safely on the desert floor. Also, In May of 2012, Gary Connery donned a wing suit and performed a 3,000 foot base jump onto 24,000 cardboard boxes in Henley upon Thames for a world record. On July 25th, 2012, Felix Baumgartner freefell for four minutes at 536 mph, opening his chute for the worlds highest skydive.
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