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On This Day In Space: Aug. 22, 1963: X-15 rocket plane 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.


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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