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David G. Simons (June 7, 1922 – April 5, 2010) was an American physician turned U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who, as part of Project Manhigh, set a record of high-altitude balloon flight in 1957 at 19 miles 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.[2] Simons was shown on the cover of Life of September 2, 1957, issue.[2][5]


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 cultureEdit

"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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Space Men: They were the first to brave the unknown (Transcript}". American Experience. PBS. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Grimes, William (April 17, 2010). "David Simons, Who Flew High on Eve of Space Age, Dies at 87". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "David G. Simons". International Space Hall of Fame. 2005 - 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Stafford, Ned (July 3, 2010). "David G. Simons: Set a record with a balloon flight 19 miles above Earth". "Obituaries". British Medical Journal. Volume 341.
  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.