On August 16, 1960, Joseph Kittinger jumped out of a balloon from an air-thin height of 102,800 feet. He fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds reaching a maximum speed of 614 mph before opening his parachute at 18,000 feet. Breaking the speed of sound during the fall, Kittinger used a small stabilizing chute before a larger, main parachute opened in the denser atmosphere. He safely touched down in barren New Mexico desert, 13 minutes 45 seconds after he vaulted into the void. He set historical numbers for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest drogue-fall (4 min), and fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere.