David Goodman Simons (June 7, 1922 – April 5, 2010)[1] was an American physician turned U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who, as part of Project Manhigh, set a high-altitude balloon flight record in 1957 at 19 miles (31 km) above the Earth in an aluminum capsule suspended from a helium balloon.[1][2][3][4] He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for this record.[1] Simons was shown on the cover of Life of September 2, 1957, issue.[1][5]


David G. Simons
David Goodman Simons

(1922-06-07)June 7, 1922
DiedApril 5, 2010(2010-04-05) (aged 87)
Covington, Georgia

Simons went on to a distinguished career in academic medicine as an instructor at the VA Medical Center, Long Beach, California. He authored more than 200 publications on trigger points and related treatments for chronic myofascial pain. He co-authored the Trigger Point Manual with Janet G. Travell.[6] Originally published in 1983, it was considered a breakthrough, and remains a foundational work in the field.

Career Edit

At the time of Project Manhigh, then-Major Simons was Chief, Space Biology Branch, Aero-Medical Laboratory, Holloman Air Development Center, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

In popular culture Edit

"Manhigh" was the name of the 2013 season one finale of the Showtime TV series Masters of Sex, and featured television coverage of Major Simons' mission and return to Earth.

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d Grimes, William (April 17, 2010). "David Simons, Who Flew High on Eve of Space Age, Dies at 87". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Stafford, Ned (July 3, 2010). "David G. Simons: Set a record with a balloon flight 19 miles above Earth" (PDF). Obituaries. British Medical Journal. 341. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 4, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "David G. Simons". International Space Hall of Fame. 2005 - 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  4. ^ "Space Men: They were the first to brave the unknown (Transcript)". American Experience. PBS. March 1, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  5. ^ "Life Magazine, September 2, 1957 - Altitude record: 2nd Quality Archived October 15, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Old Life Magazines. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Borg-Stein, Joanne; Simons, David (March 2002). "Myofascial Pain". Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 83 (1): S40–S47. doi:10.1053/apmr.2002.32155. PMID 11973695.