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.