American Experience: Sealab

Tuesday, February 12, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

In the spring of 1964, Scott Carpenter — already famous for being the second American to orbit the earth — was preparing for a new mission, not into space as an astronaut but into the sea as one of the Navy’s newly-minted “aquanauts.”

Divers who attempted to chart the ocean’s depths faced barriers that had thwarted humans for centuries:  near total blackness, bone-jarring cold, and intense pressure that could disorient the mind and crush the body. Aboard Sealab, Carpenter and his fellow explorers would attempt to break through those barriers – going deeper and staying underwater longer than anyone had done before.