Space diving is when people jump with a parachute from space and fall to Earth. Because space diving is very complex and dangerous, only three people have successfully jumped from space. Joseph Kittinger, an American military pilot, was the first space diver. On August 16, 1960, he went up into space by using a hot air balloon and jumped from a height of 31,300 meters.
During his 4 minute and 36 second fall to Earth, Kittinger reached a speed of 988 kilometers per hour. In an interview later, Kittinger said, “You know you are going very fast, but you don’t feel it. You don’t have a 614-mph wind blowing on you. I could only hear myself breathing in the helmet.”
Since Kittinger’s jump, two more men have tried to space dive. In 2012, an Austrian skydiver named Felix Baumgartner rode a helium balloon 39 kilometers above the Earth and jumped off. Wearing a special suit designed to protect him, he reached a speed of 1357 kilometers per hour. He landed on Earth about ten minutes after his jump.
In 2014, a Google executive named Alan Eustace became the third man to jump from space. Using a specially-designed balloon, he reached an altitude of 41 kilometers and jumped. 15 minutes later, he landed on Earth. Eustace currently holds the space diving record for the highest jump.