Mike Adams flew the X-15 for 13 months from 6 October 1966 until 15 November 1967, making seven flights. All of these were with the XLR99 engine and he reached Mach 5.59, a maximum speed of 3,822 mph, and an altitude of 266,000 feet. Adams died on flight 3-65-97.

Michael James Adams was born on 5 May 1930 in Sacramento, California, and enlisted in the Air Force on 22 November 1950 after graduating from Sacramento Junior College. Adams earned his pilot’s wings and commission on 25 October 1952 at Webb AFB, Texas. He served as a fighter- bomber pilot in Korea, flying 49 missions during four months of combat service. For 30 months Adams served with the 613th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at England AFB, Louisiana, and for six months he served rotational duty at Chaumont Air Base in France.-12

In 1958 Adams received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Oklahoma University. In 1962, after 18 months of astronautics studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Adams attended the Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards, where he won the Honts Trophy for being the best in his class. He subsequently attended the Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS), graduating with honors on 20 December 1963, and was assigned to the Manned Spacecraft Operations Division at Edwards AFB in the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program. During this time he was one of four Edwards aerospace research pilots to participate in a five-month series of NASA Moon-landing practice tests conducted by the Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland.

In July 1966 Adams came to the X-15 program with 3,940 hours of total flight time, including 2,505 hours in single-engine jets (primarily the F-80, F-84F, F-86, F-104, F-106, and T-33) and an additional 477 hours in multiengine jets (primarily the F-5, T-38, and F-101). Unfortunately, Mike died during flight 3-65-97 on 15 November 1967, and The Air Force posthumously awarded Adams an astronaut rating for his last flight in X-15-3, which had attained an altitude of 266,000 feet (50.38 miles). In 1991, the Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida added Adams to its list of astronauts who had been killed in the line of duty.