New Mexico Museum of Space History Home Page
What's NewAboutHall of FameExhibitionsEventsNew Horizons TheaterEducationPlan a VisitGet Involved

Friday July 11th, 2014

Museum E-Publishes Curation Paper Number Eleven

(Alamogordo, New Mexico) - The New Mexico Museum of Space History (NMMSH) is pleased to announce publication of Curation Paper Eleven, edited by Assistant Curator Jim Mayberry. It is an oral history of Colonel Joseph Kittinger Jr. (USAF, Ret.). The interview was conducted in 2000 for the New Mexico Museum of Space History (formerly the Space Center Museum) by Museum volunteer Lt. Col. Wayne O. Mattson (USAF, Ret.) and George House, Museum Curator.

Kittinger played a key role in the early days of the space program, but he is best known for his record-breaking free fall from a balloon at the edge of space. On August 16, 1960, Kittinger took the “highest step in the world”. He stepped out of a high-altitude balloon at 102,800 feet and jumped to earth, setting four world records. Fifty two years later, Joe served as Mission Control’s primary point of contact for the man set on breaking his record for the parachute jump from the highest altitude – Austrian Felix Baumgartner.

Curation Paper Number Eleven, edited by Assistant Curator Jim Mayberry, also contains the NASA biographical sheet for Colonel Kittinger. Curation Paper Number Eleven and all earlier Curation Papers can be downloaded from the "About the Museum" section of our homepage in the Curatorial Papers Publication.

Read Curation Paper Number Eleven here:

'Curation Paper Number Eleven' - (Printable) (PDF)

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at

IMAGE: On August 16, 1960, Captain Joseph Kittinger stepped out of the Project Excelsior III balloon gondola at an altitude of 102,800 feet. His free fall set a world record that would not be broken for fifty-two years.