Project Excelsior gondola display

Project Excelsior gondola display

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Credit: US AIR FORCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Project Excelsior gondola display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, USA. The model shows Joseph William Kittinger II (born 1928) jumping from an Excelsior balloon gondola. Kittinger's third high-altitude parachute descent as part of this project took place on 16 August 1960 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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