Wednesday, 26 August 2009


In 1959 a bloke named Joseph Kittinger hopped in an air balloon and took off skyward. Nothing unusual there, except he took that balloon higher than any manned balloon had ever been before. He took it 31,300 m (102,800 ft) above sea level... that's 33.1km above the ground! Then, he did something only a human would do. He jumped out.

Four minutes and 36 seconds later he had fallen 26km, through −70 °C temperatures at up to 988km/h, before his parachute opened.

Kittinger takes the plunge in 1960

Humans are fascinating because we do some really crazy things, some of them in the name of one of our favourite favourite inventions called 'progess'. Kittinger jumped so they could make fighter pilots safer or something. He actually did the balloon thing three times. He also raced speedboats, flew 483 missions in Vietnam and was shot down and became a POW, so he probably makes a mean rice paper roll too.

Joseph William Kittinger II
b. 1928
Patriot and Complete Nutjob


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At 27 August 2009 at 07:05 , Blogger Baino said...

Well I guess he did the first one for science which is very noble but twice more? Nutjob. Definitely a nutjob. Then I'm a safe arse sally. I never do anything risky other than driving a car!

At 27 August 2009 at 13:25 , Blogger Kath Lockett said...

Nutjob, Yes.
Face still frozen from the balloon jump in this photo, double yes!

At 1 September 2009 at 01:59 , Blogger Donn said...

Blame his crazy-ass behaviour on the daredevil gene or an addiction to Tequila and PCP..
and thank (insert personal deity here) that I have never felt the urge to do dumbass sh*t like this!


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