CrossRoads Access, Inc. Corinth History CORINTH INFORMATION DATABASE Version 1.3 © 1995 Milton Sandy, Jr.

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Captain Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., USAF,

with Martin Caidin

With a Foreword by Colonel John Paul Stapp,
        USAF (MC)
and an Epilogue by Captain Marvin Feldstein,
        USAF (MC)


In an open gondola hung beneath a shimmering cloud of plastic, a man
ascends to the awesome height of 102,800 feet. He looks about him at a
world that is not the world of man. The atmosphere of his planet lies
beneath his feet. The velvet blackness of space is close enough to
reach out and touch. He is absolutely alone. Then he jumps . . .

The Long, Lonely Leap is the intensely dramatic and unique personal
story of Captain Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr. and his great parachute
jumps from record altitudes in pioneering research for the United
States Air Force. Beginning with his boyhood and youth in Florida,
where he explored wilderness waterways and was a professional
speedboat racer, Captain Kittinger describes his experiences as an Air
Force aviation cadet, fighterbomber pilot and test pilot. In 1957 he
soared to 96,000 feet in a sealed capsule as test pilot of Project Man
High, the high-altitude balloon program studying man's ability to
function usefully as part of a man-machine system in a near-space
environment. Then, after work with the Escape Section of the Aerospace
Medical Laboratory, Captain Kittinger became Chief and volunteer test
subject of Project Excelsior, the program aimed at developing a
parachute by which a man could survive escape at extreme altitudes. To
put the new Beaupre chute, and related equipment developed by the
team, to practical test, Captain Kittinger made his three great
jumps-Excelsior I, II, and III.

These courageous jumps reached their climax in his famous record leap
from the very edge of space itself, almost 20 miles above the earth.
This drop included a free fall lasting more than an incredible 4 1/2
minutes, during which Captain Kittinger reached a falling speed of 614
miles per hour before his parachute finally opened at 18,000 feet.
Captain Kittinger describes the preparations for the balloon ascent,
and the actual ascent itself. He tells of floating for eleven minutes
in the alien world of space, 102,800 feet up. Then . . . the descent.
Using an actual tape recording of his words as he fell, Kittinger
relates his impressions, vividly re-creating this magnificent and
terrifying experience.

With Captain Kittinger working in a unique partnership with Martin
Caidin, renowned aviation writer, pilot, and author of over two dozen
books, the two men flew and spent months together to re-create the
gripping events of this story. Their fast friendship and combined
talents have enabled Captain Kittinger to give us a book that is both
a suspenseful account of his own highly dangerous work and the story
of Air Force efforts to develop new equipment to make it possible for
pilots safely to abandon their craft at the great altitudes now being
reached. The Long, Lonely Leap is a truly magnificent account of the
personal adventures of a pioneer of the exciting new frontiers of
modern aviation and space exploration.

	Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., USAF, with Martin Caidin.  The Long,
		Lonely Leap.  New York:  E.P. Dutton & Company, 300 
		Park Ave. South, New York 10, N.Y., 1961.

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