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First pilot of suborbital flight makes final journey into unknown

24 Mar 2010, 14:59 UTC
First pilot of suborbital flight makes final journey into unknown
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A few days before Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo had its first captive carry flight the first US Air Force pilot to fly into space in an aircraft passed away on 17 MarchUS Air Force Major General Robert White flew his North American X-15 on 17 July 1962 to 59.6miles (95.9km), the USAF’s designation for space is 50 miles making him the first USAF pilot to reach space. He was later awarded USAF astronaut wings. White was also the first pilot to fly at Mach 6, again in the X-15 testing velocities that were simply unknown to manA command pilot astronaut, his military decorations and awards include the Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with three oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with “V” device. For his achievements in the X-15 aircraft, White received the Harmon International Aviators Trophy, the Collier Trophy and NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal

Born in New York city in 1924 he attended New York public schools, earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from New York University in ...

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