Millennium Discovers: Putting Man on the Moon


Sixty years after the Wright Brothers put man in the air, scientists and engineers were grappling with the next major challenge: putting a man in space – and keeping him alive there.

As an engineering challenge, it was the most extreme imaginable. Their solution was a rocket and the most complicated piece of personal protection equipment man has ever known: the space suit.
The design challenge was handed to a small team inside NASA – Crew Systems. The leader of their team was Matthew Radnofsky, known as “the Mad Russian” – an eccentric second-generation Jewish immigrant with a can-do attitude and a broad Boston accent. He was also Caroline Radnofsky’s grandfather.

She barely knew him – he died when she was three years old – but she grew up with stories of the Apollo 11 mission and the famous space suit.

For her, the story of the space race is not just about the men who risked their lives to travel into the unknown, but the ones who held those lives in their hands.

Al Jazeera’s Caroline Radnofsky set out to explore the legacy of her grandfather, the man behind the iconic Apollo 11 space suits.