On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard piloted America’s first manned space flight, Mercury 7. In the decades since, the bold few who followed were chosen only because they possessed the right combination of smarts, grit, and individualism—the right stuff. But now with commercial aerospace companies eyeing manned missions with private citizens paying their way, the “right stuff” is being radically revised. Besides a healthy bank account, what does it take to be a space tourist? What happens to the human body after weeks or even months living in a Space Hilton? And how should we choose those who will take a one-way journey into history, the first members of our species to live and die on another planet?
This program was produced in collaboration with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.