Joe Kittinger: The Man who fell from Space

Today Felix Baumgartner will try to skydive from the edge of space.

Joe Kittinger jumped from the edge of space in 1960. I met him in 2010 at an airfield south of Los Angeles, where Felix Baumgartner was training for his Stratos jump. That day, Baumgartner did a test jump from an altitude of 8 000 meters. How does it feel to train the person who wants to break your record? „Records are made to be broken“, Kittinger said, and: „Fifty years ago nobody had been to space. (…) the information we got was used by Nasa. (….) We weren’t there to set records.“ Remains to be seen what new insights can be gleaned from Baumgartner’s record attempt.

Here’s some original footage presented by Time magazine

Here’s an article from Der Spiegel about my visit to one of Baumgartner’s test jumps back in 2010 (also in German).