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X-2 After Drop from B-50 Mothership

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X-2 After Drop from B-50 Mothership

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(1955) The Bell Aircraft Company X-2 (46-674) drops away from its Boeing B-50 mothership in this photo. Lt. Col. Frank "Pete" Everest piloted 674 on its first unpowered flight on August 5 1954. He made the first rocket-powered flight on November 18, 1955. Everest made the first supersonic X-2 flight in 674 on April 25, 1956, achieving a speed of Mach 1.40. In July, he reached Mach 2.87, just short of the Mach 3 goal. ..Image # : E-2820

The V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, "Retribution Weapon 2"), Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile. It was developed during the Second World War in Nazi Germany as a "vengeance weapon", assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on 20 June 1944. Research into the military use of long-range rockets began when the studies of graduate student Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army. A series of prototypes culminated in the A-4, which went to war as the V-2. Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets during the war, first London and later Antwerp and Liège. The attacks from V2s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel. As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces—the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union—raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and technology. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel escaped advancing Soviets and surrendered to the Americans. Von Braun role in American space program is hard to overestimate. The Soviets too gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities, re-established V-2 production, and lay foundation forthe Soviet space program.

Dwight Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. Eisenhower was of Pennsylvania Dutch and a lesser amount of Irish ancestry and was raised in a large family in Kansas by parents with a strong religious background. He graduated from West Point in 1915 and later married Mamie Doud and had two sons. A five-star general and commanded the Allied Forces in Europe during WW2, he was responsible for the invasion of North Africa in 1942–43, the invasion of France, and Germany in 1944–45. After World War II, Eisenhower served as Army Chief of Staff under President Harry S. Truman and then accepted the post of President at Columbia University. In 1951, he became the first Supreme Commander of NATO. He entered the 1952 presidential race as a Republican to counter the non-interventionism of Senator Robert A. Taft and won in a landslide, defeating Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower was the first U.S. president to be constitutionally term-limited under the 22nd Amendment. n the first year of his presidency, he threatened the use of nuclear weapons in an effort to conclude the Korean War; his policy prioritized inexpensive nuclear weapons while reducing conventional military. After the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite in 1957, Eisenhower authorized the establishment of NASA, which led to the space race. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Eisenhower condemned the Israeli, British and French invasion of Egypt, and forced them to withdraw. He also condemned the Soviet invasion during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 but took no action. He promoted the creation of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the establishment of strong science education via the National Defense Education Act, and encouraged peaceful use of nuclear power via amendments to the Atomic Energy Act. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned the U.S. about the "military–industrial complex" in his farewell address. Eisenhower was a moderate conservative who continued New Deal agencies and expanded Social Security. He also launched the Interstate Highway System. His two terms were years of economic prosperity except for a sharp recession in 1958–59. "Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done."

The X-planes are a series of experimental United States aircraft and rockets, used to test and evaluate new technologies and aerodynamic concepts. They have an X designator, which indicates the research mission within the US system of aircraft designations. The first, the Bell X-1, became well known in 1947 after it became the first aircraft to break the sound barrier in level flight. Most of the X-planes have been operated by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) or, later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), often in conjunction with the United States Air Force. The majority of X-plane testing has occurred at Edwards Air Force Base. Some of the X-planes have been well publicized, while others have been developed in secrecy. Most X-planes are not expected to go into full-scale production.

NASA Photo Collection

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