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On This Day In Space: Bell X-1 rocket plane takes 117th Flight

On June 23, 1949, the XS-1 rocket plane flew for the 117th time. The XS-1, later called the Bell X-1, was a piloted, rocket engine-powered X-plane that could fly faster than the speed of sound. 

During this flight, pilot Robert Champine tested the aircraft’s stability, control and handling at transonic speeds. He even managed to pull a few stunts, like pull-ups and rolls.

There were 157 flights in total for the XS-1. These provided data for future US fighter designs as well as spacecraft designs.

Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist (opens in new tab).     

On This Day in Space Archive!

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Still not enough space? Don’t forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week. 

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