Parachuting, or skydiving, is the action sport of exiting an aircraft and returning to Earth with the aid of gravity, then slowing down during the last part of the descent by using a parachute. It may or may not involve a certain amount of free fall, a time during which the parachute has not been deployed and the body gradually accelerates to terminal velocity. Andre-Jacques Garnerin was the first to make successful descents using a canvas canopy and small basket, tethered beneath a hot-air balloon. The first intentional freefall jump with a ripcord-operated deployment is credited to Leslie Irvin in 1919. The military developed parachuting technology as a way to save aircrews from emergencies aboard balloons and aircraft in flight, and later as a way of delivering soldiers to the battlefield.
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