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The Highest Skydriver, Colonel Joe Kittinger, aka Joseph Kittinger, Dies At 94

Colonel Joe Kittinger aka Joseph Kittinger dies

Air Force veteran Colonel Joseph Kittinger, whose parachute leap from nearly 20 miles above the Earth in 1960 set a global record for more than 50 years, died Friday in Florida. He was 94. Let us learn more about him.

Who is Colonel Joe Kittinger?

Kittinger was a pilot in the US Air Force from 1928 until December 2022. Later, from 1956 to 1960, he participated in high-altitude balloon flight missions Manhigh and Project Excelsior. He was the first person to notice the Earth’s curvature fully. Kittinger shot down a North Vietnamese MiG-21 jet plane. After being shot down, prisoner of war detention before being liberated in 1973. In 1984, he became the first to fly alone across the Ocean in a gas balloon. Felix Baumgartner’s freefall of 24 miles from Earth’s stratosphere in 2012. It broke Kittinger’s 53-year-old record and was directed by a communicator at age 84. Baumgartner’s record would be broken two years later by Alan Eustace.

Skydive Sets a New Record:

Skydive Sets a New Record


Kittinger was a US Air Force pilot in 1960 when he jumped from a hot air balloon above Earth. His world-record skydiving was critical to understanding how humans can survive at such high altitudes and aided in launching Americans into space. In the Vietnam War, Kittinger was shot down and held captive for nearly a year. Kittinger continued to be involved in aviation programs after retiring from the Air Force in 1978. In 1984, he made the first solo transatlantic gas. In 2012, he was an advisor to daredevil Felix Baumgartner, who beat Kittinger’s record for the highest parachute jump.

How did Colonel Joe Kittinger Die?

Former Rep. John Mica confirmed his death. Lung cancer was the reason. He rose to international prominence after completing three jumps into the stratosphere balloons over ten months.

Condolences To Colonel Joe Kittinger:

Florida Senator Rick Scott responded to the 94-year-death old’s by tweeting, “We’re forever grateful for his service.” Kittinger’s lifelong friend, Bob Snow, spoke with him the day before he died. “I just can’t see Kittinger not being there,” he remarked. Snow continued, “He was involved in everything we did.” “Meeting Joe Kittinger was the thing to have happened to me because he provided professionalism and excitement.” People flocked to the downtown attractions before Disney Springs and Universal’s Citywalk. Kittinger’s memorial service is scheduled for January.

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