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Freefall from the edge of space

Felix Baumgartner, who’s aiming to break the world freefall record by jumping from the edge of space completes a test flight. . Report by Katie Lamborn

 

On August 16, 1960 USAF Colonel Joe Kittinger made a jump in aid of space research for NASA. Launching himself from the Excelsior III balloon at 102,800 feet (3 times the height a commercial jet travels at), he fell reaching the speed of sound before opening his parachute at 18,000 feet (5,500 m). He set records for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest drogue-fall (14 min) and fastest speed by a man through the atmosphere unaided by a vehicle. His freefall lasted 4 minutes and 36 seconds – the length of this film.

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