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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

Skylab Rescue

Forty-six years ago this month, astronauts Pete Conrad, Joe Kerwin and Paul Weitz became the first NASA crew to fly aboard the recently-orbited Skylab space station. Not only would the crew establish a new record for time in orbit, they would effect critical repairs to America’s first space station which… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Single Combat Warrior

Fifty-eight years ago this month, 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.… Read More

Posted in Aerospace, History

Apollo 13: NASA’s Finest Hour

Forty-eight 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 Amazing Vertijet

Sixty-two 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

The Men of Mercury

Sixty 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
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