On Aug. 16, 1960, Air Force Capt. Joseph Kittenger attempted the impossible.
Coming on the heels of this year’s balloon championships and as noted in a previous column, Kittenger donned four layers of clothing and left New Mexico in a gondola attached to a helium balloon.
No one had ever ventured into space this way.
Kittenger’s flight plan included a trip skyward for 19 miles and a never-before attempted jump back to Earth.
As temperatures dipped to 100 below zero, he soared to 102,800 feet and parachuted.
Falling for 4 minutes and 37 seconds, his camera captured the curvature of the Earth and the emptiness of space. At 14,000 feet, his parachute opened and he landed safely on the desert floor.
Fastcast: Sunny and hot.
Mostly sunny and hot. High about 97. Northerly winds 5 mph. Isolated showers before 7 p.m. Rain chance: 10 percent. Tonight: Partly cloudy. Low about 74. Rain chance: 10 percent after 1 p.m.