Retired AF Col. helping to top his high-altitude jump
It was 52 years ago when retired Air Force Col. Joe Kittinger jumped from a high-altitude balloon 19 miles up and safely landed on Earth.
Now acting as an expert consultant, Kittinger is helping an effort to break his record and see a person jump from an altitude of 120,000 feet in August.
Speaking to the Pentagon Channel, Kittinger explained he chose to not help countless other efforts because they were only interested in record breaking.
“I didn’t want to be associated with anything that might kill somebody,” he said from his home in Orlando.
The current Red Bull Stratos program, featuring jumper Felix Baumgartner and slogan ‘Mission to the edge of space,’ is pioneering next generation technology that will aid future space endeavors, said Kittinger.
Baumgartner already completed one test jump at 71,000 feet and has one additional jump planned before the real dive.
The free fall from 120,000 feet will last over five minutes, according to the Stratos website.
In addition to his world ballooning records, Kittinger served in the Air Force as a fighter pilot, spending 11 months as a POW after being shot down in Vietnam.