In 1960, Joe Kittinger piloted the Excelsior III to an altitude of 102,800 feet, setting a world record for the highest balloon ascent, and set another world record for the longest parachute freefall; four minutes and thirty-six seconds before his main parachute opened at 12,000 feet. During his decent he reached speeds of up to 714 miles per hour, exceeding the speed of sound without an aircraft or space vehicle, which was yet another world record. My question is, can a human wearing a spacesuit, let's say hopping out of the shuttle with some method of a self-contained rocket pack to slow the forward velocity (losing orbital velocity) and reenter the atmosphere using stabilization methods similar Kittinger's, or new ones, and survive? I've read that the Excelsior III jump established that it was possible to put a man into space and that fliers could leave their craft at extraordinary altitudes and freefall back into the Earth’s atmosphere. How come no one has tried this from 200 or 300 miles up?
Re: Parachute freefall to Earth from 200-300 miles up.
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