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GT-5 – Eight Days or Bust

Fifty-two years ago this month, NASA astronauts Leroy Gordon “Gordo” Cooper and Charles M. “Pete” Conrad set a new spaceflight endurance record during the flight of Gemini 5. It was the third of ten (10) missions in the historic Gemini spaceflight series. The motto for the mission was “Eight Days… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Lifting Body Precision Landing

Forty-two years ago this week, the USAF/NASA/Martin X-24B became the first lifting body to make an unpowered precision landing on a concrete runway. The feat was pivotal to convincing NASA officials that landing the Space Shuttle Orbiter in an unpowered state was operationally feasible. Early Space Shuttle Orbiter operational concepts… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Safe Return

Forty-eight years ago today, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins returned safely to Earth when they splashed-down in the Pacific Ocean at a point 812 nautical southwest of Hawaii. The epic journey to the Moon and back covered 952,700 nautical miles. Mission total… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

For All Mankind

Forty-eight years ago today, the United States of America landed two men on the surface of the Moon. This feat marked the first time in history that men from the planet Earth set foot on another celestial body in the solar system. The Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle landed in… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Departing Earth

Forty-eight years ago this month, 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… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Home For Independence Day

Thirty-five years ago today, the Space Shuttle Columbia landed at Edwards Air Force Base to successfully conclude the fourth orbital mission of the Space Transportation System. Columbia’s return to earth added a special and patriotic touch to the celebration of our nation’s 206th birthday. STS-4 was NASA’s fourth Space Shuttle… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Final Flight: XB-70A Air Vehicle No. 2

Fifty-one years ago this month, 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… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

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