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“Boy, That Was a Ride!”

Fifty-six years ago to the day, USAF Major Robert M. White flew the North American X-15 hypersonic research aircraft to a record altitude of 314,750 feet (51.8 nautical miles). In doing so, he became the first X-15 pilot to be awarded USAF Astronaut Wings. The North American X-15 was the… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Liberty Bell 7

Fifty-seven years ago this month, Mercury Seven Astronaut Vigil I. “Gus” Grissom, Jr. became the second American to go into space. Grissom’s suborbital mission was flown aboard a Mercury space capsule that he named Liberty Bell 7. The United States first manned space mission was flown on Friday, 05 May… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight

Home For the Fourth

Thirty-six years ago today, the Space Shuttle Columbia landed at Edwards Air Force Base to successfully conclude the fourth orbital mission of the Space Transportation System. Columbia’s return to earth added a special and patriotic touch to the celebration of our nation’s 206th birthday. STS-4 was NASA’s fourth Space Shuttle… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Flying by Knight

Sixty-one years ago this week, USAF Major William F. “Pete” Knight made an emergency landing in X-15 No. 1 at Mud Lake, Nevada. Knight somehow managed to save the hypersonic aircraft following a complete loss of electrical power as the vehicle passed through 107,000 feet during the climb. The famed… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

A Prelude to Space

Sixty-one years ago this month, USAF Captain Joseph W. Kittinger successfully completed the first Manhigh aero medical research balloon mission. During his 6.5-hour flight, Kittinger reached an altitude of 95,200 feet above mean sea level. Project Manhigh was a United States Air Force biomedical research program that investigated the human… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Final Flight: XB-70A Valkyrie

Fifty-two years ago this month, XB-70A Valkyrie Air Vehicle No. 2 (62-0207) and a NASA F-104N Starfighter (N813NA) were destroyed following a midair collision near Bartsow, CA. USAF Major Carl S. Cross and NASA Chief Test Pilot Joseph A. Walker perished in the tragedy. On Wednesday, 08 June 1966, XB-70A… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

Walking Around the World

Fifty-three years ago this week, Gemini Astronaut Edward H. White II became the first American to perform what in NASA parlance is referred to as an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA). In everyday terms, we simply call it a “spacewalk”. White, Mission Commander James A. McDivitt and their Gemini spacecraft were… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

IX. SPACE

Fifty-seven years ago this month, President John F. Kennedy boldly proposed that the United States conduct a manned lunar landing before the end of the 1960’s. The President’s clarion call to glory was delivered during a special session of the United States Congress which focused on what he called “urgent… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Spaceman in the Arena

Fifty-six years ago to the day, Mercury Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times aboard his Aurora 7 Mercury spacecraft. In doing so, Carpenter became the second American to reach Earth orbit. Project Mercury was America’s first manned spaceflight program. A total of six (6) flights took place… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Project Mercury Finale

Fifty-five years ago today, NASA Astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper successfully returned to earth after completing 22 orbits of the home planet. Designated Mercury-Atlas No. 9 (MA-9), Cooper’s flight was the final orbital space mission of the fabled Mercury Program. Cooper’s eventful space mission began with lift-off from Cape Canaveral’s LC-14… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History
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