Who was the first man in space?
Who was the first man in space? Yuri Gagarin? If you don't like to recognize the accomplishments of the "red menace" then Alan B. Shepard is your man. Right?Who was the first man to "walk" in space? Aleksei Leonov? If you limit your point of view to Americans then you go with Ed White. Right?The correct answer may depend on what you classify as space.If 102, 800 feet or nearly 20 miles off the ground is high enough to be outer space than the first man in space, and the first man to walk in space is Joe Kittinger. He would also be the first person to break the sound barrier without the use of a plane.Confused? Let me explain.In 1960 Joe Kittinger was part of an Air Force program testing the effects of high altitudes on man. In his final jump he took a three-hour balloon ride to an altitude of 102, 800 feet and then:jumped.!Kittinger confirmed Albert Einstein's "A Happy Idea." This theory stated that in space, when you are falling, you would have no sensation of effects of gravity. The only way Kittinger knew he was falling was to notice that there was an increasing distance between himself and his balloon.This is how the Air Force described the event. _ "In freefall for four and a half minutes, Kittinger fell at speeds up to 714 mph, exceeding the speed of sound. He experienced temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit. Kittinger opened his parachute at 18,000 feet and landed safely in the New Mexico desert after a 13 minute 45 second descent. _He broke the sound barrier, sans a vehicle.Joe Kittinger has some big brass ones. I can't find anyone who has ever heard of this guy, and what he did is truly amazing.Don't believe me? Watch the video [ here]I really feel like a wimp, I have yet to find the courage to jump out of airplane at a few thousand feet. In fact, it is getting a little embarrassing how long I have had this on my to do list, and reading about Kittinger is really making me feel pathetic. : http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/campbell/skydive.jpg : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-369888258105653405&q=%22First+man+In+Space+-+Skydiving+from+the+edge+of+the+world%22+playable%3Atrue