At an altitude of 102,800 feet over Tularosa, N.M., Air Force Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger Jr., makes the ultimate leap of faith. In the 4.5 minutes between stepping out of the balloon’s open gondola and opening his parachute, he free falls 84,700 feet, reaching a speed of 614 mph. Kittinger lands unharmed 13 minutes, 45 seconds after jumping. This the highest jump and longest free fall ever recorded.
Whether the F-35 fighter will get new engines from the Air Force’s cutting-edge Adaptive Engine Transition Program is a question that needs to be resolved at the Defense Department level, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers May 17—and he anticipates an answer in the 2024 budget.