Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Aerospace Snapshot - The X-15 Rocketplane on a Wing and a Prayer

Carried aloft by a NASA B-52 and then released in midair like so many of the X-planes before it, the X-15, a winged rocketplane, made two suborbital spaceflights -- both in 1963 -- with apogees of 65.8 miles and 67.1 miles. Only two years earlier, the first two U.S. manned spaceflights, wichi were part of the mercury program, had flown suborbital spaceflights as well but reached apogees of 116.5 miles and 118.3 miles. Photo courtesy of NASA, from Burt Rutan's Race to Space: The Magician of Mojave and His Flying Innovations by Dan Linehan.

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