On Aug. 16, 1960, Joe, now Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger, rode a helium balloon to the edge of space, 102,800 feet (32 km) above the earth.
Wearing just a thin pressure suit and breathing supplemental oxygen, Joe jumped from his gondola into the 110-degree-below-zero, near-vacuum of space. Within seconds his body accelerated to 714 mph in the thin air, breaking the sound barrier. After free-falling for more than four and a half minutes, his descent finally began to slow due to the friction of the heavier air below. He felt his parachute open at 14,000 feet, and he floated gently down to the New Mexico desert floor.
Joe’s feat proved to scientists that astronauts would be able to survive the harshness of space with just a pressure suit and that man could eject from aircraft at extreme altitudes and survive if properly equipped.
More than four decades later, Joe’s two world records, the highest parachute jump, and the only man to break the sound barrier without a craft and live, still stand, and the retired colonel and Aviation Hall of Famer, now 75, still rides the sky above Altamonte Springs in Florida as often as he can.
Semporna, a town located in Tawau division on Sabah’s east coast, is inhabited mainly by ethnic Bajau Laut, also known as Sea Gypsies, many of whom live in sprawling stilt villages above the water or in traditional Lepa boats.
Amazing place, just blew me away.