On an August morning in 1960, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger stepped out of a helium balloon 20 miles above Earth, hurtling down at over 400 miles per hour. Space Men tells the little-known story of the men whose scientific experiments laid critical groundwork for NASA's manned space program, a decade before President Kennedy committed the nation to sending a man to the moon.
American Experience: Space Men
On a perfectly still August morning in 1960, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger lifted off in a helium balloon from an abandoned airstrip in New Mexico, floating upwards into the clouds. When his open gondola reached 100,000 feet, nearly 20 miles above the earth, Kittinger disconnected his onboard oxygen supply, said a prayer, and stepped off into the unknown. Within seconds, he was hurtling at over four hundred miles per hour through temperatures nearing one hundred degrees below zero. Kittinger's daring feat was part of a research program that began testing the limits of human endurance at the very edge of space nearly a decade before President John F. Kennedy committed the nation to sending a man to the moon. Space Men tells the little-known story of the men whose scientific experiments in the stratosphere laid critical groundwork for NASA's manned space program, helping to make the very idea of space travel a reality.
Producer: Steven Ives, Amanda Pollak
Production Company: WGBH; Insignia Films
Production Year: 2016
Copyright Year: 2016
Narrator: Michael Murphy
Writers: Amanda Pollak
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 60 minutes
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)
Audio Format: 5.1 Surround
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
VIDEO USAGE RIGHTS
Why the AV version? Because it provides additional usage options for PBS videos. AV versions come with limited performance rights so they can be shown in classrooms, at PTA meetings, during after school programs, and transmitted on a closed-circuit system within a building or on a single campus. They also can be enjoyed in admission-free public screenings, which also makes them ideal for use by library patrons and businesses involved in community clubs and organizations.