Saturday, December 19, 2009

NASA's Flight Research

NASA's Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base in 1959 with the Air Launched Sounding Rocket (ALSOR) attached to its underbelly. NASA test pilot Milton O. Thompson ejected from this aircraft on Dec. 20, 1962, after an asymmetrical flap condition made the jet uncontrollable.

NASA research pilot Milton O. Thompson was scheduled to evaluate weather conditions over Mud Lake, Nev., in preparation for the launch of an X-15 rocket plane over that area a few hours later. Weather flights were critical because go/no-go decisions were based on real-time observations made along the planned flight path.