Joe Engle – X-15 Portrait


Test pilot and astronaut Joe Engle smiles broadly while posing in front of an X-15 research rocket plane. Carried aloft beneath the wing of a B-52 mothership, the X-15 would ignite its powerful rocket motors after being dropped at high altitude to test the realm of high-speed and high-altitude flight. The results of the rocket plane’s 199 test flights helped to develop the reusable space shuttle. Engle is no stranger to either the X-15 or the space shuttle. He flew 16 flights in the X-15, reaching 3,887 mph (Mach 5.71) and 280,600 feet, before later commanding two successful orbital space shuttle missions, STS-2 and STS-51I.

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Photo Only (10×8 in), Frame R (14×12 in), Frame F (14×12 in), Photo Only (14×11 in), Frame R (19×16 in), Frame F (19×16 in)


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