Category Book of Flight

. Space Telescope

SPACE shuttle missions, which last usually one to two weeks, often launch equipment in space, retrieve it, or repair it. In 1990, the space shuttle DiWove/y launched the huge Hubble Space Telescope (HST) into Earth orbit. Called the “new window on the universe,” it was expected to give much clearer pictures of space than ever before because it would be orbiting outside Earth’s atmosphere.

Unfortunately» the first images from the HST were blurred because of a faulty mirror system. After over a year of training, crew in the space shuttle Епдшш(щг took off to repair the telescope in December 1993.

The astronauts worked on the telescope standing on the shuttle’s big robot arm, the Remote Manipulator System. They replaced corrective optical equipment, added a new camera, and other parts. By Januaryi images from the telescope showed the repairs had worked. Пае pictures were clear and spectacular! These images have helped scientists learn much more about the universe.

Underwater Training

image238"Astronauts prepare for a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in space by training in a huge tank of waterJhe feeling of moving in water is similar to that of floating in the weightlessness of space.



Space Repairmen

In December 1993, two astronauts of the space shuttle tndpovour repair the Hubble Space Telescope. They work at the end of the shuttle’s robot arm. (he astronauts inserted special mirrors to correct the flaw that had blurred the telescope’s images.


* Celestial £ye

This Hubble lelescope image shows a huge glowing "eye" known as nebula NGC 6751. fhe nebula is a luminous cloud of gas ejected from the hot star in its center.




Swirling Galaxies

An image from the repaired Hubble Space Telescope shows the close encounter of two galaxies. The starry pinwheels, galaxy NGC 2207 with a large bright center and galaxy 1C 2163, lie tens of millions of light years away from Earth.


. Space Telescope


Racing for the Skies


H E years between World War I and World War 11 are often called the Golden Age of Aviation. During this time people believed anything was possible. Designers worked constantly to build better performing planes. Fliers pushed the limits of flying. They set new records for distance, speed, duration, and altitude. In this period, many famous air races were established. Pilots competed for trophies, prize money, and the glory of conquering the skies.

Подпись: \KThe National Air Races in the United States drew huge crowds in the 1930s. Famous races included the 50-mile speed race for the Thompson Trophy and the long-distance, cross-country race for the Bend і Ц Trophy.

The Schneider Trophy race, a competition for seaplanes, was held from 1913 to 1938. France won the first Schneider Trophy in 1913 with an average speed ol 46 miles an hour. In 1931, a British plane won. Its average speed—340 miles an hour — shows how far airplanes had come.


< Wiley Post (1899-1935)

Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world in 1933. He also set early altitude records and designed the first pressure suit. Here, Post wears an early design of his suit, adapted from a deep-sea diver’s outfit. It supplied oxygen from a tube to the helmet and allowed Post to reach heights of nearly 55,000 feet. He proved that flying in the jet stream, a high, fast-flowing river of air, could increase a plane’s speed. Post died in a crash in 1935 with his friend, humorist Will Rogers.

Fun Fact: Powder Puff Derby


In 1929, the first U. S. women’s air race, the Women’s Air Derby, was held. It was a cross-country race. Humorist Will Rogers called it the"Powder Puff Derby." Among 23 fliers in the derby was Amelia Earhart.




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Racing Souvenirs

Mementos from the Museum collection recall the era of early air races. They include a poster for the 1932 National Air Races, an advertisement for the 1928 Schneider Trophy seaplane race, and a ticket to the 1929 National Air Races.

Fun Fact: Pylon Polishing

In the 1920s, racing pilots began flying as close as possible around pylons, the tall checkered markers, without crashing into them. This skill, called "Pylon Polishing,"thrilled fans.


Wihhie Mae

Wiley Post set two round-the-world records in his Lockheed Vega, Winnie Moe. lhis painting shows the Winnie Мое carrying Post and a navigator over the Volga River in 1931. They circled the globe in 8 days and 15 hours. In 1933, Post flew the 15,596-mile trip solo in 7 days and 19 hours.

► James H. "Jimmy” Dooumt


A famous flier of the Golden Age, Army Lieutenant Jimmy Doolittle served in World War I as a flight instructor. In 1929, he became the first pilot to fly "blind," using only instruments to take off, fly, and land. A top racing pilot, Doolittle won the 1925 Schneider Trophy in a U. S.Army float plane (above). In 1931, he won the Bendix transcontinental air race.

The next year, Doolittle set a world record of 294 miles an hour when he flew a Gee Bee race plane and won the Thompson Trophy.



Orking Planes

О DAY, specialized aircraft perform a variety of

important jobs. Planes transport military troops, carry relief cargoes of food and medicine to people in disaster-hit areas, dust crops with chemicals to fight insect pests, fight fires, patrol large areas, and monitor weather conditions. In remote or wilderness regions, rugged bush planes are the only way doctors and other people can reach isolated outposts. In war zones, large transport aircraft move and drop thousands of military troops.

Some planes are small craft designed for fun, sport, and leisure flying. Each

Подпись: A PIPER CUB A flying classic, the Piper Cub J-3 was introduced in 1936.This two-seat light plane is now in the Museum. Cubs were used as trainers for military and private pilots and flown for recreation.The Cub's cruising speed was 80 miles an hour. Подпись: WEATHER AIRCRAFT A Weather Service DC-6 (top) has a long gust prooe and other instruments to gather weather data aloft.This helps forecasters predict weather systems. Above, visitors inspect an Orion P-З hurricane hunter plane, (t flies into the huge whirling storms to pinpoint their position and strength for hurricane forecasters in Miami. Symbo s on the plane's side indicate hurricanes the plane has tracked.

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▼ Bush Plane

A hunter poses with his game and a Noorduyn Norseman float plane he flew on a hunting trip in Canada. Bush planes carry hunters, wilderness explorers, and medical teams to remote spots no other transportation can reach. [2]

Water Bomber

Whoosh! A C-130 Hercules drops a load of water mixed with fire retardant chemicals over a forest fire in California. The versatile C-130 is also widely used as a military transport and cargo plane.

V Parachute Drop

Military paratroopers jump from a C-141B Starlifter during a training mission. The Starlifter transports combat troops over long distances. It delivers both soldiers and supplies and also carries wounded soldiers to hospitals.

л Airlift

Members of the 82nd Airborne Division wait to be airlifted by transport planes at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Military planes can move many thousands of forces quickly to training stations or combat zones.

Meeting Міг

N June 29, 1995, the space shuttle MLntti* made a historic flight. It successfully met and docked with the Russian space station Mir, or “Peace,” orbiting 245 miles above the Earth. Shuttle mission commander Robert L. Gibson steered Atlantis into docking position near Mir. Both were hurtling through space at 17,500 miles an hour. Gibson had to slow Atlantic down and very carefully maneuver it to avoid a crash. I Ie also had to act quickly enough to catch and lock onto the space station before it drifted beyond reach. He performed the maneuver perfectly.

After docking, uxz AJikintitt crew floated through a connecting tunnel to enter Mir and met the Russian cosmonauts inside. For five days, the two crews socialized and worked on experiments together. This was the first ol several visits of space shuttles to Mir. The two countries that were once fierce rivals in space have since done much to cooperate with each other to increase space knowledge.

Space Partners

A mission patch for a 1996 Shuttle-Mir mission emphasizes the cooperation between the two nations in peaceful space projects. At right, a poster promotes the rental of space on Mir to American research companies.

> ► Linked Together

Docked in space, the shuttle Atlantis and Mir space station float in orbit. This picture was taken by a Soyuz ferry spacecraft in June 1995. Such joint missions helped pave the way for work on the new International Space Station.

Fun Fact: Long Trip

The record time for living in space is held by Russian doctor faJgw Pnliakov. He stayed on Mir a total of 438 days! From his experience, scientists learned much about how the human body adapts to long periods in space.

image242Maneuvering in Space

Steering the shuttle in space requires two systems. The orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines slow the shuttle down and move it up or down. Then 44 rocket thrusters on the craft’s nose and tail can be fired to change speed or direction.

The Russian space station Mir passes over New Zealand. In orbit since 1986, the station was replaced by the new International Space Station in 2001. Mir was abandoned and allowed to burn up in the atmosphere as it fell back to Earth.


к 4 Space Bear

Magellan T. Bear became the Щ first official teddy bear in space when he flew aboard tne shuttle Discovery in 1995. Sponsored by a group of school chilcren, he was an "education specialist."


space and Fly on i space shuttle?

Do you get sick? I low do you use the bathroom? What do you eat’


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adjust to the lack of

gravity – They learn to glide, twist, and

somersault expertly through space.

The crew eat the same foods and drinks they enjoy on Earth, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and desserts, but they eat them Irom disposable containers. The astronauts do not shower because water would escape and float in blobs everywhere. Instead, they squirt water on a sponge and take sponge baths. The shuttle has a bathroom and special toilet the crew use.

To sleep, the astronauts curl up inside sleeping bags hung on a wall or simply float in a comfortable spot.


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Space Toilet

Astronauts aboard the shuttle use this special toilet. It has air suction in place of gravity to remove wastes through a hose and bowl. It also has foot restraints so the astronaut using it won’t float away!


V Mission Patches

Space shuttle mission patches have a design symbolizing each mission and the names of astronauts on the mission.


Butterfly Experiment

These Painted Lady butterflies emerged from cocoons on a space shuttle mission. They were an experiment planned by a group of high school students to see if caterpillars can develop in the microgravity of space.




Meeting Міг





▼ Moving in Space

Mission specialist Carl Welz floats through a tunnel from the shuttle cabin into a science laboratory module. Although astronauts often feel nausea at first, they soon enjoy moving in space. Many say it feels like swimming in air.

► Brushing Up

Astronauts Frank Culbertson and Daniel Bursch brush their teeth on the shuttle.

They use disposable brushes with edible toothpaste and squirt water in their mouths. There is no sink or running water because the water would float around the cabin.

A Sally K, Ride (1951- )

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983.Trained as a physicist, she joined NASA in 1978 and became an astronaut. She flew on the space shuttle Challenger as a mission specialist. Here, she sleeps in a sleeping restraint on the shuttle.


Douglas World Cruisers

NE of the most famous early distance flights was that of the Douglas World Cruisers in 1924. 1 hey were the first planes ever to go around the globe. Built for the L’.S. Army Air Serv ice, the \ orld Cruisers were open-cockpit biplanes. They had landing gear that could be changed from wheels to floats so the craft could land on water or ground. Named tor tour cities, the planes were the Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, and Seattle.

On April 6, 1924, the four planes with two – man crews took oft from Seattle, \ ashing Von. They were to fly west over Alaska, around Asia, across the North Atlantic, and back across the United States. On the trip, the Seattle crashed in Alaska and the Boston went down in the North Atlantic. Only the Chicago and the New Orleans completed the llight, traveling through 29 coun­tries. After six months they returned to Seattle, ending the incredible 26,«345-mile journey.

< Good Luck (harm

Подпись: FUN FACT: REPAIR WORKПодпись: Changing all the World Cruisers’ pontoons for wheels during the trip took three days. Changing the planes' engines also took three days.The two surviving planes used nine engines each.image81
image82"A toy monkey named "Maqqie" (left) rode in the Douglas World Cruiser Chicago on its long journey. The plane’s open cockpit (below) had few instruments, but a big steering wheel to control ailerons and elevators. Leather trim was to protect the pilot in a possible crash.

image83* The (и к Або

One of the two surviving World Cruisers, the Chicago is in the National Air and Space Museum. The two-seat biplane carried a crew of two, a pilot and a mechanic. It had no radio, radar, or weather instruments to help make the long round-the-world flight.

▼ Resting at Anchor

Подпись: % № ' image85image86The diorama below, in the Museum collection, depicts the World Cruisers refueling in Seward, Alaska. At right, the planes sit on their pontoon floats, anchored off Sitka, Alaska. Soon after, the Seattle crashed into a mountain in fog.

Odern Record Breakers

N the last few decades, aviators have continued to set new records. In 1977, American cyclist Bryan Allen used leg muscle to pedal the First human-powered aircraft, the Giwamer Connor A pedaling mechanism drove a propeller, powering the craft to 11 miles an hour. Alade of cardboard, aluminum, and plastic, the ultra­light plane weighed 207 pounds, including the pilot! In 1980, Allen pedaled (hwamcrАІЬаІгом over the English Channel.

In 1986, pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager set a milestone aviation record, Hying nonstop around the world without refueling. They made the trip in nine days in the Voyanir. Extra fuel tanks were built in the plane’s long, thin wings.

Finally in 1999, the Brcilliny Orbilcr J, a shiny silver-colored balloon, made the first round-the-world balloon trip. Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard and British co-pilot Brian Jones flew’ for 30,000 miles, crossing mountains, deserts, and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.


image174Gossamer Albatross

In 1980, cyclist Bryan Allen test flies the Gossamer Albatross, a human-powered craft operated by pedaling. Flown by Allen, the Gossamer Albatross won the Kremer Prize for human-powered flight when it crossed the English Channel.

* Brutling Orbiter )

Covered with a skin of silver mylar, the Breitling Orbiter 3 was fi1 ed with helium and hot air. The balloon’s gondola (below) held tanks of propane fuel, oxygen to breathe, and tinycrewquarters. lt is today displayed in the Museum.



For no it war…eery emotional to feel the luck ice had ^ to fly around tbit f, І beautiful world. ” ^ / ,

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—Bertrand Piccard, co-pilot ; ,1

> Around the World in 20 Days

Breitling Orbiter 3 drifts over the Alps on its 30,000-mile journey around the globe in 1999.The long trip also set a balloon flight duration record of 19 days,

21 hours, and 55 minutes.

image175ROCKETS have been around For centuries. The

Chinese used gunpowder rockets as weapons as early as the 13th century. They filled pointed bamboo tubes with gunpowder, sealed one end and lit the other. The explosion created a thrust, or pushing force, that propelled the rocket the opposite way. Rockets were later fired in the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key described their "red glare in the "Star Spangled Banner.”

In the 20th century, scientists developed rockets to explore space. Rocket engines arc the only engines that can operate in the vacuum of space. In space there is no air, and so no oxygen. Rockets carry both fuel and their own oxygen supply, called an oxidizer. Large rockets can also produce tremendous power, enough to escape Fai th s gravity. In 1926, American scientist Dr. Robert Goddard launched the first liquid – propellant rocket. He concluded that a rocket could be more efficiently propelled by liquid fuel. In World War II, Germany built powerful rocket weapons. Then in 1957, the Soviet Union stunned the world by using a rocket to launch the first Earth-orbiting satellite, Sputnik.

+ < V-2’Vengeance Weapon"

One of Germany’s most frightening weapons, a V-2 rocket roars into the sky during World War II. The first long-range ballistic missile, it carried 2,000 pounds of explosives. Over 3,000 were fired at Britain and other targets.

H Ready for Launch

Germans prepare a V-2 for launching. Small by modern standards, the V-2 was 46 feet tall. The forerunner of later rockets, it could race 150 miles in five minutes and destroy whole city blocks.

Inside the V-2

The V-2 got its powerful thrust by burning alcohol using liquid oxygen. These were mixed and ignited in a combustion chamber, creating hot gases. As they expanded they burst from the rocket’s nozzle, forcing it upward. The V-2’s explosives were carried in its nose.

Подпись: iN^useimage177


On October 4,1957, a Soviet launched the first satellite. Sputnik ("Traveling Companion").A metal ball 23 inches across, it orbited Earth, sending "beep, beep" radio signals. A re Sputnik hangs in the Museum. [3]

Goddard щ Rocket

In 1941, Dr. Robert Goddard (top picture, left) examines one of his most advanced rockets as his assistants watch. This S^22-foot-high test rocket was fueled with gasoline and liquid oxygen. lt is today displayed in the National Air and Space Museum.

A 1935 A-3 Rocket

Three of Dr. Goddard’s assistants lift his liquid-fueled A-34ocket to fit it into a launch tower in Roswell, New Mexico. In the secluded southwest desert, Goddard tested many of his inventions.

Robert H. Goddard (1882-191,5)

Dr. Robert H. Goddard, inventor of the first flying liquid-propellant rocket, stands beside his creation. On March 16,1926, the Massachusetts physics professor launched the rocket from his aunt’s farm in Auburn, Massachusetts. Fueled with liquid oxygen and gasoline, it shot up 41 feet in 27: seconds oddard envisioned multi-stage rockets and using rockets to reach the Moon.

He is considered the father of American rocketry.


Подпись:THE space age began with the launch of Sputnik in 1957. In 1959, the United States began testing a new aircraft. Sleek, streamlined, and rocket- powered, the North American X-15 was the fastest, highest-flying airplane ever built. Its purpose was to fly to the end of the atmosphere and up into the edge of space. It gathered information that was later of great use to engineers planning a U. S. space program.

The X-15 was made of a strong heat-resistant metal alloy to endure the heat of hypersonic (many times faster than sound) speeds. It was able to withstand 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

The X-15 flew to an incredible 354,200 feet, over 67 miles high, and reached a speed о f 4,520 miles an hour, or Mach 6.7. The pilot used air controls in the atmosphere and fired rocket thrusters to maneuver in space. I low did he know which controls to use? Test pilot Scott Crossfield said, “When one didn’t work, I simply used the other.”

► H2-F3 Lifting Body

image180Another experimental vehicle was a wingless aircraft called a "lifting body." Launched in mid-air from a B-52, the craft could fly about 17 miles high a: nearfy 1,240 miles an hour. This Northrop M2-F3 now hangs in the Museum.

Подпись: ■ *Подпись:Подпись:image181"Подпись: * SKY SIGNATURE Rocketing toward the Sun, the X-15 leaves a long plume of condensed vapor, a contrail, in the sky. Back on the ground (above), the X-15 gets a checkup as its B-52 mother plane flies overhead.The X-15 was the first plane to fly past Mach 6. Подпись: ■image182

* Astronaut Wings

Five pilots who flew the X-15 went so high they were awarded astronaut wings for space travel. Space is considered to begin at an altitude of 50 miles. The X-15 flew to over 67 miles.

►North American X-15

In 1967, this rocket-powered research plane reached the threshold of space. It flew to 354,200 feet, a record for winged craft that still stands. One of the three X-15s built now hangs in the National Air and Space Museum.

Gliding Home

ETURNING to Earth, the shuttle orbiter is trans­formed from a spacecraft into a giant glider.

First, its maneuvering engine rockets fire a last time to slow it down to drop from orbit.

Reentering Earth’s atmosphere, it passes through scorch mg heat and tremendous friction. The thermal heat shield does its job well and protects the ship during the fiery journey. Next, computers guide the orbiter through a series of S turns to slow it down more. I he orbiter’s speed drops f rom over 17,000 miles an hour to about 350 miles an hour.

The craft glides in silently. At about 20 miles from the runway, the mission commander takes control and brings it in lor a landing. The shuttle can also land automatically, if necessary. As the wheels touch down, the craft lands at between 200 and 226 miles an hour and slows to a stop. Then the astronauts exit the orbiter on ordinaiy

image247I Coming in to Land

Like a giant bird, the shuttle Columbia ghees unpowered to land at Kennedy Space Center. The commander aims carefully landing the craft. If it misses the runway, he cannot turn around to core Pack and try again.

і What a Drag

Once the shuttle’s wheels hit the runway, a parachute opens to slow the orbiter.

As the craft lands at over 200 miles an hour, the drag chute helps it gradually b^ake to a stop.

► Getting д Lift

The shuttle Atlantis is lifted in a machine to mount it on the back of з Boeing 747. With no power to fly through the atmosphere after it lands, the shuttle orbiter must be ferried by a 7<r back to its launch site.

► Piggyback Ride

Aboard a 747 ferry, the shuttle Atlantis returns to Florida after being repaired in California. Shuttles are used over and over, always launching from Kennedy Space Center n Florida.

today’s four space shuttles have all flown many times. Since the first mission in 1981, there have been over 100 shuttle flights.

HE largest object ever built in space, the Intern­ational Space Station (ISS) Floats in Earth orbit in an artist’s concept. Begun in 1998, it will sprawl twice the size ol a football held when complete. The ISS is being built jointly bv 16 nations, including the United States, Russia, Canada, countries of the European Space Agency, and Japan. It will cost about $60 billion.


Already’ home to an American-Russian crew, the station has a roomy kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping and exercise areas. Omni solar panels convert energy From the Sun lor electric power. The station will provide an international center For many kinds ol scientific research. In its laboratories, scientists will study lile in space and test new medicines and materials lor use on Earth. One day, the ISS may also be the departure terminal For missions to other planets.

^ Outpost in Space

leveling 770 miles high over Fdrth, the International Space Station is shown as it will look when complete, around 2006.

A crew of 7 will live m a space as big as two 747 jet cabins. The size of two football fields, the station will weigh a million pounds.

Fun Fact: Big Job

More than 40 trips by space shuttle and other craft will be required to deliver the parts, supplies, and equipment needed to build the ISS.

Fun Fact: Speeded Up


Traveling more than 17,000 miles an hour, the ISS whips around the Earth 16 times a day. The crew on board see



Подпись: gilding the ISSimage251Подпись:SOME 220 miles over Earth, the world’s highest

construction site bustles with activity and work is in lull swing. Workers move cranes hoisting huge building blocks. The giant structure going up is the International Space Station. The workers building it are astronauts.

The construction work will continue lor five years. The astronauts will spend many hours of spacewalks assembling the station. They will get help from a large robotic arm made in Camida and possibly a flying robotic “eye” that can circle around to inspect the huge station.

In the finished station, scientists believe the absence of gravity will allow them to do experiments not possible on Earth. They hope to develop new drugs, new ways to treat and prevent diseases, more powerful computer chips, stronger metals, and better weather forecasting systems. Life on the ISS will also provide knowledge for future space travel beyond Earth’s orbit.

Early Space Station

In May 2000, the first parts of the new ISS orbit Earth. The station at this stage has two sections, or modules. The first U. S. module, Unity (top), is joined to the Russian power and propulsion module, Zarya ("Sunrise").

Подпись:image252* All Systems Go

In this artist’s concept, a space shuttle has docked at the finished ISS. When complete, the station will be a busy center of scientific research, new discoveries, and exciting plans for future missions to explore space.

Going the Distance

image87"Подпись: .Подпись: *7image88ROL’GHOUT the 1920s and 1930s. pilots competed to set new distance records as well as endurance records—staving the longest time in the air. In 1923, a Fokker T-2 Army transport plane made the first nonstop flight across the United States. Army Air Service Lieutenants Oakley G. Kelly and John A. Macreadv piloted the T-2 Irom New York to San Diego. The trip took 26 hours and 50 minutes. Along the way, people listened eagerly tor the plane and watched lor it in the sky. When the T-2 landed, a huge crowd cheered the landmark flight.

In 1929, the crew ot a tn-motor Fokker, the Question Alark, set an endurance record of 150 hours, 40 minutes, and 15 seconds in the air.

They flew over Caliiornia, covering 1 1,000 miles. The 1 light required midair retueling from another plane, using a 40-foot hose.

An astonishing record lor sustained flight was set in 1936 by the Curtiss Robin Ole Alios.

The pilots, brothers Fred and Algene Key, took oil trom Meridian, .Mississippi on June 4 and landed July 1 alter 653 hours—27 days in the air! The plane received lood and fuel in over 400 contacts with another plane. Such flights increased the public’s confidence in aircraft.


Risky Business

Pilot Fred Key services the eng ne of the Curtiss Robin Ole Miss by climbing on a special catwa k. During the record flight of 27 days, the two pilots took turns sleeping on top ofa fuel tank.

► Filling up in Flight

During its 1929 flight, the Question Mark gets fuel from another plane by a nose. This was dangerous, since a drop of gas eakirg on a hot engine could ign :e and Dlow up the plane. Left, a Boeing PW-9D "blackboard piane"carried messages to the Question Mark crew.

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The Fokker T-2, now in the Museum, made the first nonstop flight across the United States in 1923. At right, pilots John Macready, left, and Oakley Kelly stand with the 737 gallons of gas and 40 gallons of oil used for the flight.




Going the Distance








Going the Distance

Подпись: FUN FACT: TRICKY REPAIRimage98Подпись:image99"

Record Distance Flights

Routes shown here trace four of the most famous flights of the 1920s and 1930s.

> Flight (rew

The crew of the Question Mark includes (left to right) Major Carl Spaatz, in command, chief pilot Ira Eaker, Harry Halverson, Lieutenant Elwood Quesada, and Sergeant Roy Hooe, chief mechanic.

Подпись: Charles Lindbergh"Here all around me, и the Atlantic — its expanse, ltd depth, ltd power, і to wild and open water… If my plane ran о lay aloft, if my engine can keep on running, then so can I. ’

—Charles Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. lews

ON May 20, 1927, 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh took

oil from New York on one ol history’s most famcus flights. An unknown mail pilot, he hoped to win a $25,000 prize by being first to fly nonstop from New York to Pans. He would fly 3,610 miles—alone. Six other pilots had died trying.

Heavily laden with fuel. Lindbergh’s monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louio, barely got off the ground. Lindbergh had not slept in 24 hours. But because the weather was clearing, he set oft. To avoid extra weight, he carried no radio, relying only on his instruments and navigational skills. At times he flew in total darkness, except tor the eerie glow of his instruments. On the difficult crossing, Lindbergh battled terrifying storms, fog, cold, and worst of all, sleep. He wrote, “I’ve lost command of my eyelids. They shut…stick tight as though with glue.. I’ve got to find a Way to stay alert. I here’s no alternative but death and failure.’ His flight lasted 35/2 hours. Landing in Paris, he became an instant hero.


“The Lone Cagle"

Подпись: IN THE COCKPIT The Spirit's cramped cockpit, squeezed in behind a fuel tank, had no forward window. Lindbergh used a periscope or turned the plane to look out the side windows. Instruments include a T-shaped altimeter to measure altitude. image101"Charles Lindbergh became the most famous aviator of his day. His courage, danng, and sheer endurance at achieving the solo flight won public admiration and acclaim. Lindbergh did much to inspire people’s faith in the airplane.

Подпись: Charles Lindbergh took jus; two canteens of water and a bag of sandwiches to eat on his long flight. When he landed in Paris, he had been awake 7!'h hours!Подпись:image102

The Spirit of Sr. Louis

Charles Lindbergh’s famous airplane now hangs in the National Air and Space Museum. The sturdy monoplane was built with extra tanks to hold 450 ga ons of fuel for the Atlantic flight. It carr. ed Lindbergh into history May 20 21,1927.

Nose Art

Flags of many nations decorate the Spirit near the Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine circling the plane’s nose. The flags represent countries Lindbergh visited on a goodwill tour of Latin America and the Caribbean after his Atlantic flight.

▼ Fame and Fortune

The Spirit of St. Louis takes off on a national tour (bottom) following Lindbergh’s Atlantic flight. A check for $25,000 (below) was presented to Lindbergh as his prize for making the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.

Mercury and Gemini

BY the 1960s, the United States was competing with the Soviet Union lor supremacy in a “Space Race.” Both nations launched rockets j carrying animals — dogs and monkeys —to test space flight on living things.

On April 12, 1961, the Soviet Union moved ahead in the race by putting the first man into orbit. He was cosmonaut, or "sailor of the cosmos,” Yuri Gagarin. The United States responded with its piloted Alercury spacecraft. The first one, on May 5, 1961, carried astronaut, or "star sailor,” Alan Shepard on a 15-minute flight that did not go into orbit. On February 20, 1962, Mercury’s Friencbhip 7 blasted into orbit wi th John Glenn.

The next step was Gemini, a two-person spacecraft program. Gemini astronauts practiced docking with other spacecraft and other skills that would be needed lor a mission to the. Moon. Now the race to the Moon was on!

Подпись: ►JOHNGLENN(1921- ) On February 20,1962, John Glenn (right) became the first American to orbit the Earth. He was shot into space in the Mercury Friendship 7, and circled the Earth three times. When the spacecraft's automatic controls malfunctioned. Glenn manually flew the ship and kept it on course. He was the first person to do so. Glenn kept flight notes in the notebook at right. After his career as an astronaut, Glenn served as a U.S. senator from Ohio. In 1998, he again flew in space aboard the space shuttle.
Подпись: I


< Gehihi Firsts

A hundred miles above the Earth,

Gemini 4 astronaut Ed White takes the first U. S. spacewalk June 3,1965. It lasted 23 minutes. On December 15,1965, Gemini 6 edges to within a fpw feet of Gemini 7 in the first rendezvous of piloted U. S.spacecraft.

T Snug fu

Inside the tiny cabin of Freedom 7, Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard lies in a couch surrounded by instruments. The first U. S. piloted spacecraft, it was just big enough for one person to squeeze into.

image187"image188Подпись: v LET'S Go! Baker, a squirrel monkey, sits on a model Jupiter rocket. In 1959, she rode in a real Jupiter rocket 300 miles high at 10,000 miles an hour. She returned to Earth alive, paving the way for human space flight. Подпись:image189"HREE, two, one—we have liftoff!” With these words, rocket engines explode with a deafening roar, spewing out columns of fire and gas. Smoke billows into the sky and the ground shakes as the mighty engines thrust the rocket into the sky and send it hurtling toward space.

On these pages you can see rockets of

(many sizes and shapes developed during the

Space Age. They were built for many purposes. Some were used as missiles, or weapons.

Others were used as launching vehicles to send communications or weather satellites into space. And some have launched spacecraft with animals and human beings into space.

The Saturn V rockets were the largest, most powerful ever built. They were used to launch the Apollo missions to the Moon. Each Saturn V rocket had three stages. Stacked all together, the rocket stood nearly as tall as a 40 story building! Il weighed over 3,000 tons, most of that nearly 2,950 tons ol rocket fuel. [4]

Mercury and Gemini

► Space Shuttle

[railing clouds of steam and fire, the space shuttle Endeavour thunders into the sky. The shuttle’s twin rocket boosters along with its main engines lift the ship up toward Earth orbit.


Fun Fact: Power to Burn


The energy produced by Saturn V’s first staqe engines alone was about 160 million horsepower, roughly the same as that created by 86 Hoover Dams!