The X-15 Rocket Plane by Michelle L. Evans
Flying the First Wings into Space (Outward Odyssey: A People's History of S)

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Michelle L. Evans

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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.
 
Published June 1, 2013 by University of Nebraska Press. 480 pages
Genres: History, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The X-15 Rocket Plane

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In this chapter, Evans states that of all the interviews with the X-15 pilots she conducted for the book, no pilot was more highly regarded than Rushworth, yet his abilities are often overshadowed by those of Neil Armstrong and Scott Crossfield, perhaps for obvious reasons.

Jul 22 2013 | Read Full Review of The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying...

This is the latest entry in a series that emphasizes personalities over technology and nationalism. Evans (founder, Mach 25 Media) covers this rocket-powered aircraft, a pioneer of the U.S. space program and one that evolved through numerous malfunctions and modifications, by means of profiles of...

Jun 15 2013 | Read Full Review of The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying...

This is the latest entry in a series that emphasizes personalities over technology and nationalism. Evans (founder, Mach 25 Media) covers this rocket-powered aircraft, a pioneer of the U.S. space program and one that evolved through numerous malfunctions and modifications, by means of profiles of...

Jun 15 2013 | Read Full Review of The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying...

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