The X-15 Rocket Plane
Flying the First Wings into Space
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
eBook ISBN: 9781496211682
With the Soviet Union's launch of the first Sputnik satellite in
1957, the Cold War soared to new heights as Americans feared losing
the race into space. The X-15 Rocket Plane tells the enthralling
yet little-known story of the hypersonic X-15, the winged rocket
ship that met this challenge and opened the way into
human-controlled spaceflight.Drawing on interviews with those who
were there, Michelle Evans captures the drama and excitement of,
yes, rocket science: how to handle the heat generated at speeds up
to Mach 7, how to make a rocket propulsion system that could
throttle, and how to safely reenter the atmosphere from space and
make a precision landing.This book puts a human face on the feats
of science and engineering that went into the X-15 program, many of
them critical to the development of the Space Shuttle. And,
finally, it introduces us to the largely unsung pilots of the X-15.
By the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing, thirty-one American
astronauts had flown into space—eight of them astronaut-pilots of
the X-15. The X-15 Rocket Plane restores these pioneers, and the
others who made it happen, to their rightful place in the history
of spaceflight.Browse more spaceflight books at upinspace.org.
Purchase the audio edition.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Evans is the founder of Mach 25 Media and is an aerospace writer, photographer, and education specialist. She served in the U.S. Air Force working on nuclear missiles, is the producer of several documentaries about space exploration, and is a contributor to Space Daily, Space.com, and Ad Astra. Joe H. Engle was the eighth pilot of the X-15 research aircraft and flew sixteen rocket plane missions. He later orbited the earth as the commander of the space shuttle Columbia and again with Discovery.