The X-15 Rocket Plane
Flying the First Wings into Space
Michelle L. Evans
Narrated by Gary Willprecht
Approximately 21 hours
Book published by University of Nebraska Press
With the Soviet Unionís 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 spaceóeight 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.
Michelle L. 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.
“The X-15 Rocket Plane is an engaging account of America's push into space before pilots became astronauts, and America began a new era of exploration beyond the Earth to the Moon.”
“This is a remarkably fine work, one that, despite all the writings on the X-15 to date, has found its own authentic voice.”
“i>The X-15 Rocket Plane is a cogently written and well-deserved tribute to the individuals who helped take a winged rocket beyond Earth's confining atmosphere.”
“The social element in this splendid book adds much to the overall history of this remarkably successful research aircraft.”
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