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Guest: Michelle Evans. Topic: The X-15 Rocket Plane. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomed Michelle Evans back to the program to discuss her new book, "The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings into Space." I strongly recommend you buy and read this book and if you do so using this link from Amazon, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGLF: http://www.amazon.com/X-15-Rocket-Plane-Outward-Odyssey/dp/0803228406/re.... Visit Michelle's website for even more information: www.mach25media.com. Click on the X-15 book image for more information. During the first segment of our 1 hour 39 minute program, Ms. Evans introduced us to the X-15, how she got her interest in it and her methodology in writing the book. Michelle's approach was to tell the story through the people more than the machine so we spent lots of time talking about the X-15 pilots, their contributions to the program & spaceflight, especially the Space Shuttle. Michelle told us which pilots earned astronaut wings and why the others did not. We talked about the B52 as the carrier aircraft &learned where the two B52 X-15 planes were now located. Many questions came in about the X-15 speed, altitude, and heat shielding. Michelle knew all the answers & you will too when you read her book. Later in the first segment, Randy asked Michelle to compare the X-15/B52 with White Knight 2/SpaceShip2. Don't miss this discussion. Think one word: composites! At the end of the first segment, we talked about hypersonics, various mach speeds, air launch, & total project costs. In our second segment, I asked Michelle who her favorite X-15 pilot was and what her favorite X-15 story was from all those in the book. Joe Engle who wrote the foreword to the book was mentioned as the likely favorite but she also mentioned Milt Thompson. She had several good stories to tell us. One of the stories was about Neil Armstrong almost getting fired from the program. Dr. Jurist then called to talk about Neil and his simulator contributions, plus he asked about X-15 cockpit cooling. Michelle had much to say about Neil, simulators, reaction control jets (ballistic control system), & nitrogen used as the cooling gas. Michelle talked about an X-15 tour program on her the website so check it out. We talked lessons learned from the program, more on hypersonic flight and the different X plane programs. Michelle also talked about the Oct. 3, 1967 X-15 speed record by Peter Knight. We all explored why this record stands today & we have not yet moved beyond it. Toward the end of the program, we talked about the Outward Odyssey book program from the University of Nebraska Press. For those of you in Southern California, Michelle will be speaking at the author's fair on July 27th hosted by the Orange County Public Library system. I will announce details when available but you can likely find them on Michelle's website as well as the Orange Country Public Library website. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can email Michelle Evans through her website.