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X-15 aircraft launch, onboard view, 1960s

K005/2922

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Editorial use only.

Caption

X-15 aircraft. Footage from an onboard camera as an X-15 aircraft launches from its B52 mothership and ignites its rocket engine. The aircraft ascends and the curved horizon is seen at the top of the frame. The flaps which appear half-way through the clip are speed brakes. Developed by the US Air Force and NASA, 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 craft'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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  • Duration: 00:00:38.11
  • Audio: No
  • Format: Photo JPEG 100% QuickTime movie

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