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Everyone needs a mentor

Pending weather conditions, tomorrow will mark an astronomical achievement for mankind.  Felix Baumgartner, a renowned sky-diving expert, will step from a capsule at the edge of space and fall to the earth nearly 23 miles below.  In the process, Felix is estimated to accelerate from 0 to approximately 690 miles per hour in 40 seconds or less, breaking the sound barrier during freefall for the first time in human history. 

What most people don’t know is that this isn’t the first time supersonic freefall has been attempted from over 100,000 feet above the earth. In 1960, Joseph Kittinger, a United States Air Force Colonel, jumped from 102,800 ft.  Kittinger’s mission was launched from the back of a truck in a helium balloon.  He wore a pressurized suit and was contained within an open air unpressurized gondola.   Colonel Kittinger is now helping lead the team of doctors, scientists and engineers at Red Bull Stratos that is expected to help his sky diving brethren break his record that’s stood for more than 50 years.  We all need a courageous mentor to look up to, or as in this case, down toward.  There is no question that Felix Baumgartner wouldn’t have made it to this point without the expertise, support and constant encouragement from his mentor Joe Kittinger.  As you watch the attempt at record breaking freefall, don’t forget about Colonel Kittinger and think about who your mentor is going to be.  Without them, you might not be willing to take a leap of faith.

Colonel Joe Kittinger’s record freefall in 1960

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