I first became aware of Joseph W. Kittinger through a PBS documentary, Space Men. Some numbers from his life: He jumped from a balloon at 102,800 feet, or 31,333 meters (a record-breaking freefall, which stood until recent years); he flew 483 combat missions during the Vietnam War; he survived 11 months in the Hanoi Hilton; and Colonel Kittinger is 88 years old.
Paging William S. Burroughs:
"When I was on that step looking out, I was just amazed at how beautiful it was. It was absolutely beautiful, the colors, the transition from black overhead down to the horizon. It was beautiful and I was stunned with the beauty of what it was. But the same moment, I remembered Dr. Stapp talking about arsenic outside because right outside my hand was death." -- Joseph W. Kittinger, from here.
Digital collage by JF