A Visit to the X-15 Crash Site and Memorial
Yesterday I set off on a day trip to discover crash sites of some of the “X” planes that have went down in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. After recording the GPS coordinates from a few different websites I set off with camera in hand. After an all day drive from Las Vegas I did find the crash site of X-15-3. Sitting about a quarter mile off Trona Road which is 20 miles south of the city of China Lake, California.
On 15 November – On the 191st flight of the X-15 program out of Edwards AFB, California, the third of three, 56-6672, suffers problems during reentry from 266,000 foot altitude, 3,750 mph mission. Airframe has massive structural failure, killing pilot Michael J. Adams, the only fatality in X-15s.
Mike Adams was posthumously awarded Astronaut Wings for his last flight in the X-15-3, which had attained an altitude of 266,000 feet – 50.38 miles. In 1991 Adams’ name was added to the Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.