Yesterday, millions of people around the world watched as Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a capsule suspended more than 24 miles above the earth’s surface. And he did so with the help and soothing words of 84-year-old Col. Joseph Kittinger.
Kittinger, who directed Baumgartner from mission control, was the only person to have direct contact with Baumgartner during his more than 2-hour ascent as well as during his approximate 10-minute return. And it was only appropriate for Kittinger to be that voice to guide him throughout the expe
rience; Kittinger previously held the record for the longest skydive, set on August 16, 1960, with his 19.5-mile jump.
Many of us at Freedom Home Care remember when Kittinger made history so long ago. Although it wasn’t watched on YouTube or discussed on Twitter, it made just as big of an impact on the global audience that was captivated by his stunt. Shortly after his Kittinger’s jump, however, National Geographic shared his experience as a first-hand account.
“… here in the eerie silence of space, I knew that my life depended entirely upon my equipment, my own actions, and the presence of God,” he wrote in the article.
And with our utmost respect, we would like to salute both Kittinger and Baumgartner for their bravery. Both men have helped to pave the way for future generations as they go beyond what we as a society would ever believe to be possible.