|True life story of the highest altitude emegency parachute jump, made in 1960.|
The real life story of Captain Joe Kittinger and Project Excelsior. As jet planes flew higher and faster in the 1950s, the USAF became increasingly worried about the safety of flight crew who had to eject at high altitude. So Project Excelsior was initiated to perfect a parachute system that would allow a safe, controlled descent after a high-altitude ejection.
Producer Gary Brown
Project Excelsior was initiated in 1958 to design a parachute system that would allow a safe, controlled descent after a high-altitude ejection.
To test the parachute system, staff at Wright Field built a 200 ft (61 m) high helium balloon with a capacity of nearly 3 million cubic feet (85,000 m³) that could lift an open gondola and test pilot into the stratosphere. Joe Kittinger, who was test director for the project, made three ascents and test jumps. This is the story of the three jumps.