Space History Photo: Pilot Joe Walker with the X-1E

space history, NACA, x-series aircraft
Pilot Joseph Walker and the X-1E are ready for flight. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, the nose section of the X-1E with pilot Joe Walker suited for a flight at the NASA High-Speed Flight Station, Edwards, California, in January of 1958. The dice and Little Joe are prominently displayed under the cockpit area. NASA employees and the crew chief of the plane worked long hours preparing a craft for flight.

A break from the tedious task was a welcome reprieve at times; hence the private joke between a crew and their pilot evolved. If you know the craps game you've figured it out! (Little Joe is a dice player's slang term for two deuces.)

The National Advisory Committe on Aeronautics (NACA) was a precursor to NASA. NACA was created by Congress in 1915.

Each weekday, looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: