Free Fall from the Edge of Space
The universe is icy cold and eerily quiet. You are suspended 123,500 feet, roughly 23 miles, above the surface of planet Earth... And you are ready to jump.
This is the true story of Nick Piantanida - a story of incredible adventure, courage, bravado, and tragedy.
Locked in a desperate Cold War race against the Soviets to find out if humans could survive in space and live through a free fall from space vehicles, the Pentagon gave civilian adventurer Nick Piantanida's Project Strato-Jump little notice until May Day, 1966. Operating in the shadows of well-funded, high-visibility Air Force and Navy projects, the former truck driver and pet store owner set a new world record for manned balloon altitude. Rising more than 23 miles over the South Dakota prairie, Piantanida nearly perished trying to set the world record for the highest free fall parachute jump from that height. On his next attempt, he would not be so lucky.
In the spirit of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, Magnificent Failure portrays a loner driven to test himself. The story recalls a by-gone era when men tested the limits of mortality armed only with an indomitable spirit, ingenuity, and (some say) sheer lunacy. Part harrowing adventure story, part space history, part psychological portrait of an extraordinary risk-taker, this story fascinates and intrigues the armchair adventurer in all of us.
Original hardcover with dust jacket
301 Seiten / pages
very good condition
Washington D.C. - London - 2003 - Smithsonian Institution