[meteorite-list] X-15 Test Pilot - Astronaut, Bill Dana, on Micrometeorite Damage

From: MARK BOSTICK <thebigcollector_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed Aug 11 09:53:11 2004
Message-ID: <BAY4-F156xsoIIzQtO900019063_at_hotmail.com>

Hello list,

Continuing this e-mail string is Bill Dana. Dana was Chief Engineer at
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., from 1993 until 1998.
Many years before that he was a project pilot on the hypersonic X-15
research aircraft and flew the rocket-powered vehicle 16 times, reaching a
top speed of 3,897 mph and a peak altitude of 307,000 feet (nearly 59 miles
high, which exceeded the altitude line of 50 miles, thus qualified him for
the astronaut title. He was the pilot on the final (199th) X-15 flight of
the 10-year program on Oct 24,1968 . He was also the pilot of the last
rocket powered flight of the X-24B (Sept 23,1975) which ended the series of
Rocket Flights that begun in 1947 with the Bell X-1. Not to be confused
with the television actor Bill Dana.

Mark: Did any meteorite damage happen during the X-15 flights?

Bill Dana: I flew several X-15 missions that carried micrometeorite
collectors. The X-15 never captured a micrometeorite in these pods. I have
never heard of the existence of any micrometeorite crater on any aircraft or

Mark: Is there any special tools NASA sends with astronauts, or special
training you where given in the case a meteorite should strike and heavily
damage a craft while in use?

Bill Dana: I don't believe NASA sends any special tools nor has any special
training for micrometeorite strikes on space missions.

Clear Skies,
Mark Bostick
Received on Wed 11 Aug 2004 09:53:09 AM PDT

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