X-15: Past and Future 650657

The X-15 is a high-performance, manned research vehicle. The 125 flights made since 1959 have provided valuable research data on hypersonic aerodynamics, aerodynamic and structural heating, the behavior of certain types of structure under aerodynamic heating, and the ability of the man-machine combination to perform assigned tasks.
It is planned to extend this work to greater speeds and to continue to use the vehicle as a test bed to lift various scientific experiments into the high-speed flight or near-space environment and return them to the scientists. This capability is almost entirely unique to the X-15.


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