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Launch Into History

Fifty years ago today, the epic flight of Apollo 11, the first mission to land men on the Moon, began with launch from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at Merritt Island, Florida. Nearly 1-million people gathered around America’s famous space complex to witness the historic event. An estimated 1-billion viewers… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Liberty Bell Seven

Fifty-eight 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, History

“That Was a Ride!”

Fifty-seven years ago this month, 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 first… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Knight’s Edge

Sixty-two 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

Nike Hercules Deployment

Sixty-one years ago this month, the United States Army Nike Hercules air defense missile system was first deployed in the continental United States. The second-generation surface-to-air missile was designed to intercept and destroy hostile ballistic missiles. The Nike Program was a United States Army project to develop a missile capable… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Crusader III First Flight

Sixty-one 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

Final Flight: XB-70A Valkyrie, Ship 2

Fifty-three 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 United States Spacewalk

Fifty-four 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, it is referred to as a “spacewalk”. White, Mission Commander James A. McDivitt and their Gemini spacecraft… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Clarion Call

Fifty-eight years ago today, President John F. Kennedy boldly proposed that the United States achieve 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 national… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Narrow Escape

Fifty-one 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, History