Before the "Giant Leap," there was the highest step.
In an attempt to break the speed of sound in a free fall and best a record captured in this iconic image, sometime in the near future Felix Baumgartner will step out of a gondola in a space suit and streak back to Earth.
Red Bull will stream the event live. But broadcasting from 120,000 feet does pose challenges. Universe Today:
There will also be microphones inside the capsule and inside Baumgartner’s helmet. Those on the capsule will record sound only as long as there is air to carry the soundwaves. When Baumgartner depressurizes the capsule (just before he jumps), those ambient microphones in the capsule will stop picking up sound, but his [pressurized] helmet mic should keep working.
As for the current record, three similar leaps by Captain Joe Kittenger were part of a program of experimentation carried on a half century ago when the crushing glare of space and its effects on the human body were complete unknowns. And so a series of crewed high altitude balloon flights were carried out to see just what would happen.
The first leap nearly killed Kittenger.