On This Day in Space! Aug. 22, 1963: X-15 Sets World Altitude Record

On Aug. 22, 1963, U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Walker flew an X-15 rocket plane higher than any pilot had ever flown before. 

Photos: X-15 Rocket Plane Reaches Space in Test Flights

Walker reached an altitude of over 67 miles (108 kilometers). That's about 5 miles (8 km) above the edge of space! Walker experienced about five minutes of weightlessness over the course of the 11-minute flight. 

This was the second and final suborbital spaceflight of the X-15 program. Walker piloted both flights and became the first person to go to space twice. For both flights, he flew in the space plane X-15 #3, which also became the first reused spacecraft to return to space.

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