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Finest Hour

Fifty 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

X-13 Vertijet

Sixty-three years ago this month, the USAF/Ryan X-13 Vertijet completed history’s first vertical-to horizontal-back to vertical flight of a jet-powered Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. This event took place at Edwards Air Force Base, California with Ryan Chief Test Pilot Peter F. Girard at the controls. The X-13 Vertijet… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

America’s Mercury Astronauts

Sixty-one years ago this week, 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

Final Flight: USAAF Lady Be Good

Seventy-seven years ago this month, a USAAF/Consolidated B-24D Liberator and her crew vanished upon return from their first bombing mission over Italy. Known as the Lady Be Good, the hulk of the ill-fated aircraft was found sixteen years later lying deep in the Libyan desert more than 400 miles south… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

America’s Space Twins

Fifty-five years ago this week, Gemini III was launched into Earth orbit with astronauts Vigil I. “Gus” Grissom and John W. Young onboard. The 3-orbit mission marked the first time that the United States flew a multi-man spacecraft. Project Mercury was America’s first manned spaceflight series. Project Apollo would ultimately… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Remembering HYPER-X Flight 2

Sixteen years ago this week, the NASA X-43A scramjet-powered flight research vehicle reached a record speed of over 4,600 mph (Mach 6.83). The test marked the first time in the annals of aviation that a flight-scale scramjet accelerated an aircraft in the hypersonic Mach number regime. NASA initiated a technology… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Final Flight: USAF/Martin XB-51

Sixty-four 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

Bail Out!!!

Sixty-five years ago today, North American test pilot George F. Smith became the first man to survive a high dynamic pressure ejection from an aircraft in supersonic flight. Smith ejected from his F-100A Super Sabre at 777 MPH (Mach 1.05) as the crippled aircraft passed through 6,500 feet in a… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Final Flight, History

An Improbable Landing

Fifty years ago this month, a USAF F-106A Delta Dart (S/N 58-0787) out of Malmstrom AFB, Montana made a wheels-up landing in a farmer’s field despite the fact that there was no pilot onboard.  The pilot, Lieutenant Gary Foust, had ejected earlier when he was unable to recover the aircraft… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

EXPLORER I: America’s First Satellite

Sixty-two years ago to the day, the United States successfully orbited the country’s first space satellite. Known as Explorer I, the artificial moon went on to discover the Van Allen Radiation Belts, the extensive system of charged particles trapped in the magnetosphere that surrounds the Earth. The Explorer I satellite… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, Uncategorized
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