Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Piantanida's first try was in 1965 in Minnesota. At 22,700 feet the wind sheared off the top of his balloon, ending the effort. Then, after launching from Joe Foss Field on February 2, 1966, he reached a height of 23 miles, 2 miles higher than any balloonist had ever gone. An unofficial manned balloon altitude record was set but a defective oxygen valve prevented a free-fall jump.
A third balloon was launched on May 1, 1966. It steadily climbed 1,000 feet a minute until at 57,600 feet Sioux Falls Ground Control heard of gush of air and Piantania's voice gasping "Emergency!" He was found in a coma when the gondola touched Earth 25 minutes later. The pressurization system failed when either his helmet or his suit leaked. He died four months later.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Air & Space. A significant historical date for this entry is February 2, 1966.
Location. 43° 34.309′ N, 96° 44.392′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on West Algonquin Street, 0.1 miles east of North Industrial Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sioux Falls SD 57104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bomber Rams Skyscraper (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Forgotten Heroes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Municipal Airport (approx. 0.2 miles away); Massacre Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Midair Collision (approx. 0.7 miles away); Liberty Tree (approx. 0.7 miles away); Veterans' Memorial Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); "Eternal Sentry" (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 29, 2022. This page has been viewed 59 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 29, 2022. 4. submitted on March 30, 2022.