Footage of Project Excelsior, in which Captain Joseph Kittinger jumped from the stratosphere to test high altitude parachutes. The series of jumps took place in 1959 and 1960.
Date: August 16, 1960
Original Title: Project Excelsior
Film Type: Color / Silent
Credit: U.S. Air Force
Archival Source: National Archives / 342-USAF / 342-USAF-33041
Transcript / Shot List
Coverage of Project Excelsior including scenes of high altitude parachute jumps, dummy drops from balloon, jumps from C-123 and C-130 aircraft, preparations for flight and Capt Joseph Kittinger jumping from balloon. WADD AEROSPACE MEDICAL DIVISION PRESENTS: PROJECT EXCELSIOR. 12' ALS of gondola and balloon above the clouds. 33' MS from camera inside gondola of Capt Joseph Kittinger stepping out of gondola. 36' MLS & LS from camera under gondola of Capt. Kittinger free falling away from the camera. 38' LS horizon from camera carried by Capt Kittinger during jump. 42' MLS inflated balloon ready for launch. 46' MLS frame with two parachute dummies hanging from crane hook. 48' MLS & MS launch of balloon and release of frame with dummies. 60' LS's balloon and payload rising. 72' MS from camera on dummy on framework looking up at balloon. 75' MS & LS from camera on dummy on framework of release and fall-away of dummy. 79' LS of horizon from camera on falling dummy. 87' ELS from camera on dummy framework showing dummy fall-away. 91' MLS from camera on dummy showing release from balloon. 93' MS & ELS from camera on dummy framework showing dummy fall-away. 97' LS from camera on dummy showing horizon during fall. 111' MS from camera on dummy showing deployment of parachute. 118' ALS of dummy and parachute landing in desert. 139' ALS of dummy being dropped by C-123 in flight to left. 144' AMS & LS of dummy falling away from camera and deployment of parachutes. 188' MS of Capt Kittinger's equipment. 202' MS & CU's Capt Kittinger putting on jump clothing and equipment. 325' MS Capt Kittinger entering altitude and temperature chamber. 340' MS & CU's Capt Kittinger in gondola in temperature chamber. 370' MS Capt Kittinger leaving chamber. 379' AMLS man jumping from C-130. 387' AMLS man falling away from camera and deployment of parachute. 403' LS horizon from camera carried by jumper. 417' ALS & MLS jumper falling with stabilization chute and landing. 461' MS Capt Kittinger walking out of transfer van. 468' MS & MCU's Capt Kittinger breathing oxygen, putting on equipment and getting into gondola on a truck. 639' MLS of preparations for attaching gondola to balloon. 651' MCU sign: THIS IS THE HIGHEST STEP IN THE WORLD. 653' MLS inflation of balloon. 660' MCU crane lifting gondola off of truck. 668' MS & MLS release of balloon and lift-off of gondola. 685' LS CH-21A (H-21A) in flight over launch area. 691' ALS & AMLS of balloon and gondola rising. 719' CU Capt Kittinger in gondola. 727' AMS balloon and gondola rising. 730' MS Capt Kittinger stepping out of gondola. 749' MS & LS of Capt Kittinger falling away from camera. 750' LS horizon from split-frame camera carried by Capt Kittinger during jump. 781' ALS & AMS of Capt Kittinger descending. 825' MS's night scene of technicians working on gondola. 843' MS & CU's of Capt Kittinger talking with MSgt G.A. Post. 855' MS Capt Kittinger having picture taken near gondola. 875' MS & MLS technicians unrolling plastic balloon. 906' MLS & MCU Capt Kittinger getting into gondola. 926' MS & MCU inflation of balloon. 954' LS release of balloon. 965' MS & MCU Capt Kittinger in gondola. 999' MS & MLS of release and ascent of gondola. 1021' ALS's balloon and gondola rising above clouds. 1048' CU Capt Kittinger in gondola. 1052' ALS & AMS of balloon and gondola rising. 1061' MS Capt Kittinger stepping out of gondola. 1079' MS & LS Capt Kittinger falling away from camera. 1082' LS horizon from camera carried by Capt Kittinger during jump. 1178' ALS & AMLS parachute deploying and Capt Kittinger landing. 1218' MS & MCU of USAF personnel helping Capt Kittinger out of heavy clothing and equipment. 1254' MS Capt Kittinger walking to and getting into CH-21A (H-21A). 1259' MS of CH-21B (H-21B) in flight to right.
Project Excelsior was a series of parachute jumps made by Captian Joseph Kittinger of the US Air Force in 1959 and 1960 from helium balloons in the stratosphere. The purpose was to test a parachute system intended to be used by pilots ejecting from high altitude. In one of these jumps Kittinger set world records for the highest parachute jump, the longest parachute drogue fall, and the fastest speed by a human through the atmosphere.