Kittinger's landing, Project Excelsior

Kittinger's landing, Project Excelsior

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Credit: US AIR FORCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Kittinger's landing, Project Excelsior. US Air Force ground crew assisting USAF captain Joseph William Kittinger II (born 1928) after his descent over New Mexico, USA, from Excelsior III on 16 August 1960. Kittinger made three high-altitude balloon flights and parachute descents as part of this USAF project. This third descent was from a record-breaking height of just over 31 kilometres. As well as the highest balloon ascent, this was the longest free-fall (over four minutes) and fastest speed (nearly 1000 kilometres per hour). The descent took 13 minutes, with a pressure suit worn due to the low temperatures and pressures.

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