American Experience

Space Men

Episode: In the 1950s and early '60s, a small band of high-altitude pioneers exposed themselves to the extreme forces of the space age long before NASA's acclaimed Mercury 7 would make headlines. Though largely forgotten today, balloonists were the first to venture into the frozen near-vacuum on the edge of our world, exploring the very limits of human physiology and human ingenuity in this lethal realm.

Air Date 3/1/16

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Praised as the "finest documentary series on television," AMERICAN EXPERIENCE brings to life the compelling stories from our past that inform our understanding of the world today.
Upcoming Air Dates
  • #2708 — Part One |
    Monday, Oct 10 at 8pm TPT 2
  • #2708 — Part One |
    Tuesday, Oct 11 at 2am TPT 2
  • #2708 — Part One |
    Sunday, Oct 16 at 5pm TPT 2
  • #2709 — Part Two |
    Monday, Oct 17 at 8pm TPT 2
  • #2709 — Part Two |
    Tuesday, Oct 18 at 2am TPT 2
  • War of the Worlds: American Experience
    Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles' infamous radio drama, "War of the Worlds" explores this unprecedented and little understood event. With the CBS radio broadcast serving as its narrative spine, the film examines the elements that together created one of the biggest mass hysteria events in U.S. history, including our longtime fascination with life on Mars; the emergence of radio as a powerful new medium; the shocking Hindenburg explosion of 1937, the first disaster to broadcast live; and the creative wunderkind Orson Welles, the 23-year-old director of the drama and mischief maker supreme. Public reaction, forever immortalized in thousands of letters written to CBS, the Federal Communications Commission and Mr. Wells himself, are dramatized in on-camera interviews, bringing to life the people who listened that night to the broadcast and thought it was either awfully good fun or the end of the world.
    Wednesday, Oct 26 at 10:30pm TPT 2
    Thursday, Oct 27 at 4:30am TPT 2
    Thursday, Oct 27 at 8pm TPT LIFE
    Friday, Oct 28 at 2am TPT LIFE
  • #2708 — Part One
    Explore the complex life and enduring legacy of the iconic filmmaker from his early days creating Mickey Mouse through the making of Snow White, the first full-length animated film.
    Monday, Oct 10 at 8pm TPT 2
    Tuesday, Oct 11 at 2am TPT 2
    Sunday, Oct 16 at 5pm TPT 2
  • #2709 — Part Two
    Explore the complex life and enduring legacy of the creative genius as he made films such as Cinderella and Mary Poppins and realized his dream project, Disneyland.
    Monday, Oct 17 at 8pm TPT 2
    Tuesday, Oct 18 at 2am TPT 2
    Sunday, Oct 23 at 5pm TPT 2
  • #2805 — The Perfect Crime: American Experience
    Re-examine the shocking story of Leopold and Loeb, two wealthy college students who murdered a 14-year-old boy in 1924 to prove they were smart enough to get away with it. Their trial set off a national debate about morality and capital punishment.
    Sunday, Oct 30 at 5pm TPT 2
  • #2807 — Norman Lear: American Masters
    Discover how the prolific creator of "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times" effected social change through his groundbreaking sitcoms and activism. Features George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Jon Stewart, Russell Simmons and others.
    New Tuesday, Oct 25 at 8pm TPT 2
    Wednesday, Oct 26 at 2am TPT 2
  • #2901 — Tesla: American Experience
    Meet Nikola Tesla, the genius engineer and tireless inventor whose technology revolutionized the electrical age of the 20th century. Although eclipsed in fame by Edison and Marconi, it was Tesla's vision that paved the way for today's wireless world.
    New Tuesday, Oct 18 at 8pm TPT 2
    Wednesday, Oct 19 at 2am TPT 2
    Sunday, Oct 23 at 4pm TPT 2
  • #2902 — Battle of Chosin: American Experience
    Revisit this pivotal 1950 Korean War battle through the eyewitness accounts of participants. A harrowing story of bloody combat and heroic survival in the first major military clash of the Cold War.
    New Tuesday, Nov 1 at 8pm TPT 2
    Wednesday, Nov 2 at 2am TPT 2
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