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X-15 flight suit testing, 1960s

X-15 flight suit testing, 1960s

C021/3617

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25.2 MB (25.0 MB compressed)

2633 x 3347 pixels

22.4 x 28.4 cm ⏐ 8.8 x 11.2 in (300dpi)

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Credit

NASA / BOEING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / BOEING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

X-15 flight suit testing. US test pilot Scott Crossfield (1921-2006) sitting in a thermal vacuum chamber during tests of a prototype XMC-2 suit, versions of which were used for 36 early X-15 flights. The X-15 was a rocket-powered research aircraft designed to investigate flight at hypersonic speeds. Three X-15s flew a total of 199 missions between 1959 and 1968. The X-15 was carried into the air by a converted B-52 bomber and released at high altitude. The pilot then ignited the X-15's rocket motor. It was the first plane to reach the edge of outer space and set records for the fastest manned aircraft (7,274 kilometres per hour, or Mach 6.72).

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