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3

There were three competing ways to space pursued in the US while in the USSR everything was centrally managed, so they followed only the way that Konstantin Tsiolkovsky had first proposed. What were those three ways? The US Navy used a home-grown team to develop a rocket at the Naval Research Laboratory. Their Vanguard rocket failed several times, however, ...


7

The decision was non-technical You can hear it from the test pilots themselves: The rating was actually based on stop lights. Individual requirements (e.g. supercruise) could be rated red, yellow, or green. At the end of the test program, both planes rated green on all requirements. This was all Secretary of the Air Force ...


10

Great question, but no, the X-15 was not a "critical and necessary step on the path to manned space flight" at all, it was used to test the feasibility of sustained and controlled hypersonic flight of an aircraft at very high altitudes and speeds. The X-15 was an extension of the X program, started in the 1940s, to continuously push the speed envelope of ...


-1

Most of the X-15 data, like most NASA research studies are made available to the public. Why spend millions of Rubles on a space plane testbed when you can examine the research data for free after the other guy spent the cash and built one? And, apparently, as both the US and USSR space shuttles bear a VERY similar appearance to each other, it appears that ...


26

I'll complement GdD's answer from a slightly different perspective. In the history of aerospace engineering... Wait, there is a problem right there. Due to various historical reasons, there was no aerospace industry in the USSR, at least the way it is known in the West. The very word "aerospace" was almost never used before the 90s. Aeronautics and ...


47

I like the X-15, it was certainly an amazing airplane, but the truth is there were few benefits to the space program from the X-15. It was far from a critical or necessary step: The Mercury space suit was a direct derivative of the BF Goodrich Navy Mark IV, which had been in use for years. It wasn't developed for the X-15 The rockets used in the space ...


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