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Hustling to Mach Two

XB-58 Hustler Featured Image_filtered

Fifty-eight years ago today, the USAF/Convair XB-58A (S/N 55-660) Hustler first attained its double-sonic design airspeed when it was flown to Mach 2.03 at an altitude of 43,250 feet. This historic achievement took place at Edwards Air Force Base on the type’s 24th test flight. The mission totaled 1 hour… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

High Flight

Flight 15P Featured Image

Eleven years ago this week, 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… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Skystreak Swan Song

Skystreak Featured Image

Sixty-two years ago this month, NACA test pilot A. Scott Crossfield piloted the United States Navy/Douglas D-558-I Skystreak transonic research aircraft on the last of 230 flights. The type’s final test flight was flown on Wednesday, 10 June 1953 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Flight near and beyond the… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Midair! Midair! Midair!

XB-70A AV-2 Crash Featured Image

Forty-nine years ago today, 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 Valkyrie… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

First American Spacewalk

Spacewalk Featured Image

Fifty years ago today, Astronaut Edward H. White II became the first American to walk in space. Known in official NASA parlance as an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), White’s space feat took place during the historic 4-day mission of Gemini IV. White, Mission Commander James A. McDivitt and their Gemini… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Man in the Arena

Man in the Arena Featured Image

Fifty-three years ago this month, 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 between… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

The Original Rocket Man

Goddard Featured Image

Eighty 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

A Bad Day at the Office

M2-F2 accident5/10/67NASA DFRC

Forty-eight years ago this week, NASA’s experimental M2-F2 lifting body flight research aircraft was demolished in a horrific landing mishap on Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base. Although critically injured, NASA test pilot Bruce A. Peterson survived the mishap. A lifting body is a wingless aircraft wherein the… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

Freedom 7

Freedom 7 Featured Image

Fifty-four years ago today, 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. MR-3… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

The Winged-Horse Delivers

Pegasus Featured Image_filtered

Twenty-five years ago this month, the Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) orbited a PegSat satellite using the then-new Pegasus 3-stage launch vehicle. This historic event marked the first successful implementation of the air-launched satellite launcher concept. The concept of air-launch dates back to the 1940’s and the early days of United… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History