Project Excelsior

As jets began flying higher and faster, the US Air Force became increasingly worried about the safety of its flight crew. Project Excelsior was initiated in 1958 to design a multi-stage parachute system that would allow a safe, controlled descent after a high-altitude ejection.

In 1959 and 1960, Captain Joseph Kittinger made a series of high-altitude parachute jumps to test the new parachute system, setting three world records in the process.

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…See Also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Excelsior