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Survival in the Skies:

This Ex-Trapeze Artist Made Parachutes Safer

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This Ex-Trapeze Artist Made Parachutes Safer

Short | 02:56

Toward the end of WWI, it became clear to the U.S. government that pilots needed parachutes to better save their lives. So, they set up a crack team to come up with a practical and workable design.

More About This episode

Parachutes have come a long way since Leonardo da Vinci sketched the first one over 500 years ago. They have evolved from 18th century oddity to wartime lifesaver to the ultimate thrill-seeking activity. And now they are being designed to drop astronauts on alien planets. But perfecting these highly sophisticated devices has been a risky endeavor for the pioneers who design them. Join us as we tell the untold story of parachutes, from the people who build them, test them, and those who owe their lives to them.

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