The X-15 Rocket Plane

  • by Michelle L. Evans
  • Narrated by Gary L. Willprecht
  • 20 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With the Soviet Union's launch of the first Sputnik satellite in 1957, the Cold War soared to new heights as Americans feared losing the race into space. The X-15 Rocket Plane tells the enthralling yet little-known story of the hypersonic X-15, the winged rocket ship that met this challenge and opened the way into human-controlled spaceflight.
Drawing on interviews with those who were there, Michelle Evans captures the drama and excitement of, yes, rocket science: how to handle the heat generated at speeds up to Mach 7, how to make a rocket propulsion system that could throttle, and how to safely reenter the atmosphere from space and make a precision landing.
This book puts a human face on the feats of science and engineering that went into the X-15 program, many of them critical to the development of the Space Shuttle. And, finally, it introduces us to the largely unsung pilots of the X-15. By the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing, 31 American astronauts had flown into space - eight of them astronaut-pilots of the X-15. The X-15 Rocket Plane restores these pioneers, and the others who made it happen, to their rightful place in the history of spaceflight.


What the Critics Say

"The X-15 Rocket Plane is an engaging account of America's push into space before pilots became astronauts, and America began a new era of exploration beyond the Earth to the Moon." (Space Review)
“In this gripping book, Michelle Evans brings to life the X-15 and the aerospace pioneers who made it a success. For those already aware of the program, this will bring back fond memories and renew an appreciation for the remarkable people who conceived, operated, and supported this incredible craft. For those who aren't, prepare for an incredible journey of discovery.” (Richard P. Hallion, former historian of the USAF)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pretty good, but some odd tangents

Good listen, some chapters near the end seemed to go off track a bit (X15 related movies etc) which didn't hold my interest so well, but overall pretty good!
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- David Milne

Brilliant for a fanatic

If you could sum up The X-15 Rocket Plane in three words, what would they be?

Detailed, long, precise

What was one of the most memorable moments of The X-15 Rocket Plane?

The record breaking feats of daring by the pilots and the realisation the Neal Armstrong was taken off of flight duties

Have you listened to any of Gary L. Willprecht’s other performances? How does this one compare?


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

God this this long

Any additional comments?

If like me you a a die hard fan of all things areonautic and space, then this is the book for you. I can see that the story could have a limited audience to the some muggles

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- A R H

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-07-2014
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks