American Experience

A Ring-Side View of the Heavens

Clip: Season 28 Episode 6 | 2m 20s

Radioing he had "a ring-side view of the heavens" Air Force officer David G. Simons made history in 1957 high aboard his Manhigh II balloon. He rose 101,500 feet above Earth, writing later he could barely comprehend the beauty of the sky. He was celebrated by The New York Times as "The First Space Man." "Space Men" premieres March 1 at 9/8c on PBS American Experience.

Aired: 03/01/16

Rating: NR

Video has closed captioning.

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  • Project Manhigh

    Project Manhigh

    Dr. Stapp's team hoped to fly a man to over 100,000 ft. above Earth. Premieres 3/1 on PBS.

  • A New Frontier

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    Since 1783 balloonists risked their lives attempting ever-higher altitudes. Premieres 3/1.

  • Testing Mankind's Limits

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    John Paul Stapp tested the limits of human physiology. Premieres March 1 at 9/8c on PBS.

  • Space Men Chapter 1

    Space Men Chapter 1

    Before NASA's rockets, a team of explorers took to the skies in balloons. Premieres 3/1

  • Space Men Preview

    Space Men Preview

    Before man could step on the moon, we had to take a giant leap. Premieres 3/1 on PBS.

Corporate sponsorship for American Experience is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Consumer Cellular. Major funding by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.