Elephant Butte Inn and Spa

NM Centennial - Shaped by Science, Pt. 4..Reaching toward Space

Some of the most important events in the history of U.S. space technology happened in the desert of New Mexico, from the early liquid-fueled rockets to the first serious efforts to turn rockets into weapons. 

But few steps into the unknown of early space travel can compare to Joe Kittinger's great jump of August 1960.  It was part of an Air Force program to develop space suit technology.  Kittinger rode a balloon to the very edge of space.  At 100,000 feet above the ground, he jumped and parachuted to Earth.

"As you look up," he said right before the jump, "the sky looks beautiful but hostile.  As you sit here, you realize that man will never conquer space.  He will learn to live with it, but he will never conquer it."

Thanks to "New Mexico, 100 years of Statehood" published by the Albuquerque Journal.

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