Celebrating 50 Years of Skydiving History


Joseph P. Kittinger passed away in December, 2022. He fell into history when he set a world record, riding a hot air balloon to the very edge of space, and skydiving from a height of 102,800 feet. A modest and humble man, Kittinger remained active in ballooning, even helping lead the team that finally broke his record.

On August 16, 1960, Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger rode a helium balloon to 102,800 feet — the very edge of space — and jumped. Fifty years later, to commemorate man’s longest leap, Kittinger became the first inductee into the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame.

From the ground and the sky, he was honored at an unforgettable event at Skydive DeLand. Some of the biggest names in skydiving showed him just how important his contributions to the sport are, lining up to get his autograph and shake his hand. Then, 50 of the best jumpers in the world, including members of the elite Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, took to the skies and jumped — forming a K in the skies over Joe.

Growing Bolder reveals exclusive video of Kittinger’s historic jump and shows how his research and courage continues to inspire countless lives, including former President George H.W. Bush.

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