A team of four Air Force Pararescuemen and a 73-year-old civilian astronaut achieved a skydiving altitude record for a group jump, launching from a custom-made hot air balloon at 38,000 feet over Roswell, New Mexico. This jump, named Team Alpha 5, aimed to shed light on the Special Operations Warrior Foundation’s work. The jump’s silence and serenity, contrasted with the typical noise of military jumps, were particularly memorable for the team. They fell in formation, reaching speeds up to 189 miles per hour.
- The Team Alpha 5 jump was made up of four Air Force Pararescuemen and 73-year-old astronaut Larry Connor, achieving the highest-ever multi-person HALO jump where jumpers held formations.
- The team rode a custom-made hot air balloon to an altitude of 38,000 feet over Roswell, New Mexico, where they jumped together at sunrise.
- The jump was dedicated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit supporting families of fallen special operators.
- Pararescuemen typically train for jumps below 13,000 feet, making such a high-altitude jump rare and requiring specialized equipment and procedures.
- The jump’s preparation and execution required meticulous planning, including pre-breathing oxygen for up to 90 minutes before takeoff, to ensure the team’s safety at such high altitudes.