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The author describes the life of John F. Kennedy and his PT-109, focusing on the wreck of his ship and how the crew members were saved.
On August 4, 1960, the X-15 hypersonic manned rocket ship flashed high over Edwards Air Force Base, California, to a new all-time speed record of 2,196 miles an hour. A few days later, the sleek, stub-winged ship soared out of the earth's atmosphere into space to reach the world's record altitude of 136,500 feet. Now, for the first time, Richard Tregaskis, author of Guadalcanal Diary and Invasion Diary, tells the full, engrossing story that lies behind these flights. X-15 Diary marks one of America's greatest chapters in the exploration of space. In order to observe and record the development and flights of this first space ship to be sent to the edges of the infinite realm that we shall be exploring for hundreds of years to come, Richard Tregaskis since February, 1959, has virtually lived with the X-15 project. Here is his engrossing day-by-day story of the dedicated men and women involved in this dramatic enterprise sponsored by the U.S. Air Force and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Here are the courageous test pilots such as Scott Crossfield of North American Aviation, who has survived explosions in the X-15 and has skillfully brought the rocket craft through other emergencies; Joe Walker of NASA, who attained the all-time world's speed record in the ship; Captain Bob White, U.S.-A.F., who piloted the X-15 to the highest altitude ever reached by man. Here are the brilliant engineers such as Harrison Storms and test conductor Q. C. Harvey of North American Aviation; scientists, technicians, and many others. Here too is the inside story of the baffling problems that have arisen to cause delays and setbacks; the ingenuity and endless hard work through which those obstacles have been overcome; the frightening dangers and uncertainties faced by the test pilots; and the suspense and tension of the record-breaking test flights themselves. Through the pages of the diary there also unfolds the story of earlier work by pioneers in rocketry in many countries-- the pyramid of experimentation of which the rocket ship X-15 is the apex. With its numerous illustrations, its complete and thoroughly up-to-date text, X-15 Diary is both a vivid and significant chronicle of one of America's proudest achievements and a fitting sequel to Mr. Tregaskis's distinguished war diaries.
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