The NASA Mission Reports
By: Robert Godwin
X-15 The NASA Mission Reports comes with a bonus Windows CDROM featuring NASA and USAF movies, hundreds of images, books, Quicktime VR and an exclusive interview with Bill Dana last man to fly the X-15
Astronomy Now May '02 The history of aviation in the 20 th century is filled with remarkable accomplishments. None more remarkable than the world's first winged spacecraft.
From 1957 to 1975 the United States and the Soviet Union played a high stakes game as they put crew after crew atop barely-perfected missiles and hurled them further and further afield.
In 1952, long before Sputnik, the NACA along with the United States Air Force and Navy determined to build an aircraft that would be capable of reaching into outer space. While the rest of the world continued to fly around in propeller-driven aircraft, North American Aviation of California constructed a one-seater bullet powered by a rocket engine with unparalleled thrust.
When the craft was unveiled in 1958, the hypersonic vehicle was as bold as anything ever attempted in the history of flight.
From 1959 to 1968 the three X-15s would carry twelve daring test-pilots to the fringes of space and bring them back nearly 200 times. With the notable exception of the Space Shuttle, the X-15 is the only manned, winged vehicle to go into space repeatedly and return to its point of origin.
It is rarely noted that a mere four months after John Glenn became the first American in orbit, Major Robert White took the X-15 into space and then flew his vehicle back to a runway at Edwards' Air Force Base.
Thanks to the engineers and to the ace pilots who flew the X-15, mountains of new information about hypersonic flight were uncovered. Much of this research was then successfully applied to Mercury and Apollo.
An often forgotten part of the super-powers' competition, the unique black vehicle, flying high above the deserts of California and Utah, consistently broke
every record in the book. Today many of those records still stand.
In X-15 - The NASA Mission Reports, extremely rare documents from this amazing program are brought together for the first time.
Hundreds of images of the X-15 program. Hours of rare video, including footage of the "pink" X-15A-2, the dramatic explosion of the XLR-99 engine, comments from Joe Walker and Scott Crossfield, Pete Knight's record-breaking high speed flight, Neil Armstrong's final flight before joining the Astronaut corps, rare silent footage of the first six research pilots. An exclusive interview with X-15 pilot William Dana. The complete documentation of every X-15 flight including flight-plans, surface-to-air transcripts, and post flight reports in the pilots' own words. A unique interactive Virtual Reality model of the X-15 and more...
"Data junkies and armchair astronauts will no doubt revel in the minutiae, just like the other fact-filled installments in Robert Godwin's excellent NASA Reports series ." ... Amazon.com editorial
" . . . accompanied by a CD-ROM which is worth the price of the book alone." . . . Spaceflight - British Interplanetary Society - Nov '01
" This book should be regarded as the ultimate historical reference source" . . . The Observatory Magazine Dec '01 "All Levels" . . . CHOICE Dec '01
" . . . an excellent account of this most fascinating space plane." . . . Astronomy Now