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Touching the Face of God

Thirteen years ago today, Scaled Composite’s SpaceShipOne flew to an altitude of 62.214 statute miles. The flight marked the first time that a privately-developed flight vehicle had flown above the 62-statute mile boundary that entitles the flight crew to FAI-certified astronaut wings. As a result, SpaceShipOne pilot Mike Melvill became… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

USN/Vought Crusader III

Fifty-nine years ago this month, the USN/Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III interceptor prototype took off on its maiden test flight at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Vought chief test pilot John W. Konrad was at the controls of the advanced high performance aircraft. The Vought XF8U-3 was designed to intercept and… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

America’s First Spacewalk

Fifty-two years ago this month, 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

Before This Decade is Out

Fifty-six years ago this week, 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

Close Call

Forty-nine years ago this month, NASA Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong narrowly escaped with his life when he was forced to eject from the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle in which he was training. Armstrong punched-out only 200 feet above ground level and spent just 4 seconds in the silk before safely… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

Rocket Man

Eighty-two years ago this month, pioneering rocket scientist Robert H. Goddard and staff fired a liquid-fueled rocket to a record altitude of 7,500 feet above ground level. The record-setting flight took place at Roswell, New Mexico. Robert Hutchings Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on Thursday, 05 October 1882. He… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Errant Arrow

Seventy years ago this month, a Hermes II experimental missile, launched on a flight test out of White Sands Proving Ground, strayed from the test range and impacted near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The non-fatal mishap was later attributed to a breakdown in basic range safety protocol. The V2 missile (Vengeance… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

The Flight of Freedom 7

Fifty-six years ago this week, United States Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. became the first American to be launched into space. Shepard named his Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7. Officially designated as Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) by NASA, the mission was America’s first true attempt to put a man into space.… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Mercury Seven Astronauts

Fifty-eight years ago this month, NASA held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to introduce the seven men selected to be Project Mercury Astronauts. They would become known as the Mercury Seven or Original Seven. Project Mercury was America’s first manned spaceflight program. The overall objective of Project Mercury was… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

NASA’s Finest Hour

Forty-six years ago this month, the crew of Apollo 13 departed Earth and headed for the Fra Mauro highlands of the Moon. Less than six days later, they would be back on Earth following an epic life and death struggle to survive the effects of an explosion that rocked their… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History
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