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NASA’s Finest Hour

Apollo 13 Featured Image

Forty-four 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

The Mercury Seven

Mercury Seven Featured Image

Fifty-five 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

Convair XB-46 Bomber

Convair XB-46

Sixty-seven years ago today, the USAF/Convair XB-46 took to the skies on its maiden flight. Convair test pilot Ellis D. “Sam” Shannon was at the controls of the sleek, multi-jet prototype medium range bomber. The XB-46 was a product of the flurry of aircraft design-build-and-fly activity that gripped the American… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

First Mercury Flyby

First Mercury Flyby Featured Image

Forty-years ago this week, NASA’s Mariner 10 interplanetary probe conducted the first-ever flyby of the planet Mercury. Among other discoveries, Mariner 10 found that Mercury’s surface is heavily cratered much like the Moon. Mercury is the smallest planet in the Solar System, having a diameter of slightly over 3,000 miles.… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

North American XB-45 Tornado

XB-45 Tornado Featured Image

Sixty-seven years ago this week, the USAF/North American XB-45 Tornado bomber made its inaugural test flight at Muroc Army Air Field, California. The type would go on to become the United States first operational turbojet-powered bomber. The XB-45 measured 74 feet in length, had a wingspan of 89.5 feet and… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Final Flight: Martin XB-51

USAF XB-51 Featured Image

Fifty-eight 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

Lunar Module Space Debut

Apollo 9 LM Blog Photo_filtered

Forty-five years ago this month, the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) flew in space for the first time during the Apollo 9 earth-orbital mission. This technological achievement was critical to the success of the first lunar landing mission which occurred a little over 4 months later. The Apollo Lunar Module (LM)… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

The Mighty SeaMaster

The Mighty SeaMaster Blog Photo

Fifty-five years ago this month, the U.S. Navy’s first production Martin P6M-2 SeaMaster flyingboat took-off from Chesapeake Bay on its maiden flight. Martin chief test pilot George A. Rodney was at the controls of the 4-man, swept-wing naval bomber as it took to the skies on Tuesday, 17 February 1959.… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

The Flight of Friendship 7

Friendship 7 For Blog Post

Fifty-two years ago today, Project Mercury Astronaut John Herschel Glenn, Jr. became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn’s spacecraft name and mission call sign was Friendship 7. Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) lifted-off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 14 at 14:47:39 UTC on Tuesday, 20 February 1962. It was the… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Convair XP-81 Escort Fighter

Convair XF-81 For Blog Post

Sixty-nine years ago this month, the Consolidated Vultee XP-81 made its flight test debut at Muroc Army Air Field, California with Vultee test pilot Frank Davis in the cockpit. The XP-81 was a prototype long range escort fighter powered by a combination of single turbojet and single turboprop engines. The… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History