"First hypersonic aircraft, Moon, Cold War" Top 5 Page for this destination National Air and Space Museum Tip by matcrazy1
National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C.: 108 reviews and 264 photos
I've started my visit to National Air and Space Museum from touching... piece of the moon, a nearly 4 billion years old lunar sample brought from the Moon by Apollo 17 in 1972.
I thought over how many lunar rocks were broght from the Moon and where they are displayed. Once I saw a few small lunar rocks in Olsztyn Planetary and Space Observatory, Poland brought by Apollo missions. They together with the Polish national flag which was on the Moon were a gift of US president Nixon. Well, some two weeks later I visited Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center southeast of Houston, Texas and the Apollo 11 Mission Control Center. I've got to know that between 1969 and 1972 six Apollo missions brought back 382 kilograms (842 pounds) of lunar rocks, pebbles, core samples, sand and dust from the lunar surface. Add samples broght from the Moon by three automated Soviet spacecrafts (only 300 grams in total). Check where the lunar rocks are displayed here
Next I've seen the North American X-15-1, black rocket-powered research aircraft (in the picture). It was the first hypersonic, high altitude aircraft which once attained an altitude of over 108 kilometers (67 miles). Well, passenger airplanes usually fly at the attitude of some 10 - 11 km and speed 0.8 Mach or so (0.8 times the speed of sound). The X-15 became the first winged aircraft to attain velocities of Mach 4, 5, and 6. In 1967 it reached velocity of Mach 6.72.
Then I saw and could compare American Pershing-II and larger Soviet SS-20 missiles (training versions), considered the most dangerous in the intermediate-range class. They all (over 2,600) were destroyed at the end of the Cold War (in 1988 - 1991).
Address: 4th and Independence Ave, SW; Washington DC 20560
Directions: Metro station: l'Enfant Plaza. On southern part of the National Mall, east of the Castle and west of the National Museum of the American Indian and U.S. Capitol Building. Map here
Phone: +1 (202) 633 1000
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