1960 film of first human in space the stratosphere

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Neat video clip from 1960 of US Air Force's Joe Kittenger, who went up 30km a balloon and then jumped out of his capsule wearing a parachute.

Reader comment: Warren Grant says: " I think its a bit disingenuous to claim he was 'The First Man in Space' when even NASA agrees that the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin (see http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?IM_ID=1832). It just struck me as kind of like rewriting history to make that claim, and although its a small point, its in effect a form of disinformation that seems out of keeping with the spirit of Boingboing. I am sure you don't want to misinform your readers and leave them with the impression that the US had the first man in space when even NASA doesn't make that claim. I know the US as the time was in tremendous shock to learn they hadn't been first, but posting stories that suggest otherwise is only contributing to the wishful thinking of those who would rewrite history."

Reader comment: Jason Finley says: "Warren Grant did well to point out that Yuri Gagarin was in fact the first human in space. To his comment I'd like to add the awesome fact that there is now an annual worldwide Space Party called Yuri's Night, held every April 12th to commemorate Gagarin's ground(space?)-breaking flight and celebrate unity in looking to the stars. 'Circling the Earth in the orbital spaceship I marvelled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world! Let us safeguard and enhance this beauty – not destroy it!' — Yuri Gagarin.

"Also: I don't read Russian to confirm this form the website, but this would appear to be a video of Gagarin's flight."

Reader comment: Mitch says: "I just wanted to put in my 2 cents on this. The headline should definitely be changed from space to stratosphere. Whatever the source stated it is poor journalism to take such claims as fact. Especially when this is patently incorrect.

"While the boundary of space as it relates to earth isn't 100% defined, 30 km is much too low. The United States defines space as 50 miles above sea level (approximately 80 km). Which is 2.6 times the height attained by this gentleman. I am not trying to play down his achievements, but the thought that a balloon which operates on the principle of being inside an atmosphere is in space is rather ludicrous.

"He would have to move above 100 km above the earth to begin to be in air so rarified that normal aerodynamic surfaces no longer function. A balloon is of little help in this endeavor.

"A useful introduction is on Wikipedia here."