MetaFilter: I Got Your ‘One Giant Leap’ Right Here.
“On August 16, 1960, Joe Kittinger jumped from a helium balloon at 102,800 feet, over 19 miles up. After free-falling for four and a half minutes and reaching 614 MPH, almost breaking the sound barrier, he opened his parachute at 18,000 feet and landed safe and sound after an almost 14 minute descent. He set records for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest freefall and fastest speed by a man through the atmosphere.”
There are many good links in that posting; I’m not going to repeat them here, but instead send you there to read for yourself.