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

This narrator really stunk up a wonderfull story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend that they read this book instead of listening to it.... .because the narrator pauses.... in places that don't...... make sense. Very distracting to the story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This..... narrator pauses.... often, and in very unusual places.

Did The X-15 Rocket Plane inspire you to do anything?

The X-15 Rocket Plane inspired me to write a review as the the narrator detracted so noticeably from this amazing story.

Any additional comments?

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- Gabriel

Great book, poor presentation

Would you be willing to try another one of Gary L. Willprecht’s performances?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's too long for that.

Any additional comments?

The reader inserts pauses and emphasis in inappropriate places. The use of pauses and stressing of words should be consistent with, and support the text. In this book, they detract from it. I'm only half way through the book, but I'm considering abandoning it because I find the presentation so distracting.

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- Bruce

Book Details

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