Balloons were flown to extreme altitudes in Projects Manhigh and Excelsior, starting shortly after the film debuted. In the latter, then-Captain Joseph Kittinger successfully completed a jump of 103,000 feet, free-falling for more than 4 minutes with only a small drogue chute, something similar to a kite's tail, to prevent him from spinning. Despite suffering severe bruising from the extreme low pressure trauma experienced at that altitude (similar to "sea" level on Mars), and frostbite from the extreme cold (almost 100F below zero) Kittinger was none the worse for his dangerous adventure. See more »
Having met actor Warren Stevens several years ago, and having corresponded with him as such, I can tell you that he is a truly kind gentleman and a World War II hero, having been a Navy pilot in the Pacific Theatre of Conflict. He is always patient and generous with his time and nothing like the villains that he has portrayed on screen! I and many of his fans believe that he never achieved the recognition he truly deserved in the industry. However, he is still acting, just recently appearing on "E.R." and will hopefully be acting for many years to come! He recently did a voice-over for the 50th Anniversary edition of "Forbidden Planet". Here's to you, "Doc" Ostrow, many voyages into the galaxy...
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