By Wendell H. Stillwell
"X-15 Research Results"
In a period of a little more than sixty years since the first
flight of the Wright Brothers, man’s exploration of three-dimensional
space above the surface of the Earth has extended beyond the
atmosphere. Spectacular and exciting events in this dramatic quest
have been well publicized. Behind these milestones of practical
flight have been less publicized achievements in scientific research,
making such progress possible. Although the X–15 has had its share
of newsworthy milestones, its contributions to scientific research have
been a more essential and more meaningful part of the program from
its inception. This semi-technical summary of the X–15 program
is directed toward the less publicized aspects of its achievements.