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America’s Space Twins

Fifty-five years ago this week, Gemini III was launched into Earth orbit with astronauts Vigil I. “Gus” Grissom and John W. Young onboard. The 3-orbit mission marked the first time that the United States flew a multi-man spacecraft. Project Mercury was America’s first manned spaceflight series. Project Apollo would ultimately… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Remembering HYPER-X Flight 2

Sixteen years ago this week, the NASA X-43A scramjet-powered flight research vehicle reached a record speed of over 4,600 mph (Mach 6.83). The test marked the first time in the annals of aviation that a flight-scale scramjet accelerated an aircraft in the hypersonic Mach number regime. NASA initiated a technology… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Final Flight: USAF/Martin XB-51

Sixty-four years ago this month, the lone remaining USAF/Martin XB-51 light attack bomber prototype crashed during take-off from El Paso International Airport in Texas. The cause of the mishap was attributed to premature rotation of the aircraft leading to an unrecoverable stall. A product of the post-WWII 1940’s, the Martin… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

Bail Out!!!

Sixty-five years ago today, North American test pilot George F. Smith became the first man to survive a high dynamic pressure ejection from an aircraft in supersonic flight. Smith ejected from his F-100A Super Sabre at 777 MPH (Mach 1.05) as the crippled aircraft passed through 6,500 feet in a… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

An Improbable Landing

Fifty years ago this month, a USAF F-106A Delta Dart (S/N 58-0787) out of Malmstrom AFB, Montana made a wheels-up landing in a farmer’s field despite the fact that there was no pilot onboard.  The pilot, Lieutenant Gary Foust, had ejected earlier when he was unable to recover the aircraft… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

EXPLORER I: America’s First Satellite

Sixty-two years ago to the day, the United States successfully orbited the country’s first space satellite. Known as Explorer I, the artificial moon went on to discover the Van Allen Radiation Belts, the extensive system of charged particles trapped in the magnetosphere that surrounds the Earth. The Explorer I satellite… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Uncategorized

Final Flight: Apollo AS-204

Fifty-three years ago this month the Apollo 204 prime crew perished as fire swept through their Apollo Block I Command Module (CM). The Apollo 204 crew of Command Pilot Vigil I. “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee had been scheduled to make the… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

Final Flight: STS-51L Challenger

Thirty-four years ago this month, the seven member crew of STS-51L perished when the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after launch from LC-39B at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The tragedy was the first fatal in-flight mishap in the history of American manned spaceflight. In remarks made at a memorial service… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

Tall Tail Tale

Fifty-six years ago this week, a USAF/Boeing B-52H Stratofortress landed safely following structural failure of its vertical tail during an encounter with unusually severe clear air turbulence. The harrowing incident occurred as the aircraft was undergoing structural flight testing in the skies over East Spanish Peak, Colorado. Turbulence is the… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Upholding Honor

Seventy-one years ago this month, the USAF/Bell XS-1 became the first aircraft of any type to achieve supersonic flight during a climb from a ground take-off. The daring feat took place at Muroc Air Force Base with famed USAF Captain Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager at the controls of the rocket-powered… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History