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Evel Knievel's 1974 Snake River jump

Updated 8:59 PM ET, Wed September 14, 2016
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Evel Knievel sits in his steam-powered "rocket cycle" before his September 8, 1974, attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls, Idaho. (Note his lucky rabbit's foot.) Forty-two years later, Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun plans to try the same jump, in a replica of Knievel's aircraft, to honor his daredevil hero. ap
At right is the ramp Knievel built to jump the Snake River. Braun has erected his own 10-story ramp on private property several miles upriver and is scheduled to attempt his jump on Saturday, September 17. ap
Knievel surveys the canyon, which is about a quarter-mile wide and up to 500 feet deep in places. He had initially hoped to jump the Grand Canyon, but the federal government wouldn't give him a permit. courtesy Knievel family
Knievel, center, and his team with their first test rocket. Knievel hired engineers Doug Malewicki and Robert Truax to build the craft and its steam engine. courtesy knievel family
Their first prototype, the Skycycle X-1, plummeted into the Snake River. Knievel's engineers built subsequent models to be less like a motorcycle and more like a rocket. courtesy knievel family
Knievel, in his trademark star-spangled jumpsuit, at an August 1974 event in Toronto, Ontario -- his last jump before the Snake River Canyon stunt. By 1974 Knievel was a household name who could sell out large arenas for his ramp-to-ramp jumps over cars and trucks. courtesy knievel family
A master showman and self-promoter, Knievel built enormous anticipation for the jump. He developed a working relationship with ABC Sports, which often televised his jumps -- and slow-motion footage of his famous crashes -- although the network balked at his price for the Snake River stunt. Knievel eventually hired boxing promoter Bob Arum to broadcast the jump on closed-circuit television and in movie theaters. courtesy knievel family
Knievel climbs into his Skycycle X-2 on the launch ramp. To get permission from the state of Idaho to do the jump, the X-2 was registered as an airplane instead of a motorcycle. It's still owned by the Knievel estate and is sometimes displayed in museums. courtesy knievel family
Knievel blasts off. Braun, using almost identical technology, expects to travel more than 2,000 feet in the air at speeds of 400 mph. Bettmann Archive/getty images
A parachute on Knievel's Skycycle opened prematurely at launch, hindering his ascent. Winds dragged his craft backward and he ended up in the canyon, where he landed only a few feet from the river. If he had landed in the water, Knievel, who was strapped into the Skycycle, almost certainly would have drowned. He suffered only minor injuries. ap
Although it failed, the Snake River Canyon jump added to Knievel's already considerable legend. He broke his pelvis while attempting his next jump, eight months later at London's Wembley Stadium, and attempted six more public jumps before retiring in 1980. He died in 2007. "My dad jumped 275 times, and it's not the 260 times he made it that made him famous," his son Kelly Knievel says. "It's the 15 times he crashed." courtesy knievel family