Wednesday, March 27, 2013

50 Years Ago: Dyna-Soar gets more Funding

Artist concept art for Dyna-Soar X-20.

Fifty years ago on March 26, 1963, the Senate awarded over $358,000,000 to continue development costs for the Air Force's revolutionary winged spacecraft design. The X-20 Dyna-Soar had been awarded initially to Boeing, and the new money was expected to cover costs for future drop tests from a B-52 mother plane, and the first orbital flight from Cape Canaveral. The initial flight was expected to occur in 1965.

Aerobee sounding Rocket at White Sands Museum.

On March 27, 1963, scientists launched an Aerobee 150 sounding rocket high into the upper atmosphere from the White Sands proving grounds in New Mexico. Although I don't cover all the sounding rocket launches, and military rocket tests, these texts and experiments continued unabated through the early 1960's.  This particular Aerobee launch included experiments studying the radiation detected at high altitudes.

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