As preparation for the Red Bull Stratos record-breaking parachute jump from a balloon at 120,000 feet in early October, Felix Baumgartner jumped in early August from 97, 145 feet. Why not just go on up to Joe Kittinger’s record of 102,800 feet set on August 16, 1960? Baumgartner wanted to make sure he broke the record on the last flight. If he had gone above 102,800 feet, then the final flight would have broken Baumgartner’s record, not Kittinger’s. He didn’t want to push Kittinger, the mission controller of the Red Bull Stratos project, out of the picture so early. By the way, that Aug. 9 test flight was to have been to 90,000 feet, not 97,000. Does that mean the final flight will be actually above 120,000 feet? You can bet the rent money on it. Baumgartner finally took Kittinger’s advice on the type of gloves to use after his hands became numb on an earlier practice flight, and had no problems. You can also bet the young pup will listen to the wisdom of 84-year-old Kittinger for the October flight. Orlando officials have rennovated Col. Joe Kittinger Park near Orlando Executive Airport. Kittinger was born in Tampa.
Red Bull capsule after hard landing
The flight was delayed to October because the capsule fell on its side in rocky terrain after the Aug. 9 flight, damaging its exterior and systems. The inner pressure vessel survived, but rebuilding seemed like a good idea. (Red Bull photo)
Tags: Joe Kittinger, parachute altitude record, Red Bull Stratos