Voices from New Mexico's Space History
Voices from New Mexico's Space History
Different quotations from New Mexico space pioneers appear on this page monthly. This is the July 2019 installment.
Different quotations from New Mexico space pioneers appear on this page monthly. This is the July 2019 installment.
In 1993-1996, one-third-scale prototypes of the DC-X reusable, single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane were tested at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico. Former Gemini and Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad was heavily involved in its development, and piloted some of the test flights by remote control. The following excerpt if from the program for 20th anniversary of the inaugural test flight of that program:

The team, inspired by famed astronaut a d space visionary Pete Conrad, faced each obstacle with renewed determination. The night before the first flight, a torrential monsoonal storm swept through the Tularosa Basin, flooding the launch site and causing significant wind damage to the mobile enclosure housing the DC-X. The moonwalker was undaunted. "We have the opportunity to make history here today. We have a whole bunch of people coming to see us fly this afternoon. It will not be easy, but if anybody can do it, it's us. Let's not give up without trying," he said and then picked up a shovel and started cleaning out one of the trenches at the site that had been filled with sand and water by the storm....

Air Force Major Jess Sponable, a Government Program Manager for the DC-X project [said,] "Since the inception of the DC-X program Pete Conrad had advocate that we put a cockpit in the nose of the DC-X and let him fly the vehicle as the pilot....

"[Shortly after the first flight landed] we got some hydrogen under the lip of the nose cone and it caught on fire, also igniting the recovery parachute in the nose....

"After the fire was out and all was calm, Pete ... rolled back in his chair. He turned to me and drawled, 'I'm just as glad you didn't let me fly in the nose.' From that day forward Pete was the strongest possible advocate of the value of autonomous operations."



See previously featured quotes on the following pages:
Voices Archives for the current year
[Voices Archives from 2017 were lost in a computer crash]
2016 Voices Archives
2015 Voices Archives
2014 Voices Archives
2013 Voices Archives
2012 Voices Archives
2011 Voices Archives


Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.


Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is © Loretta Hall 2010-2019.

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In 1993-1996, one-third-scale prototypes of the DC-X reusable, single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane were tested at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico. Former Gemini and Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad was heavily involved in its development, and piloted some of the test flights by remote control. The following excerpt if from the program for 20th anniversary of the inaugural test flight of that program:

The team, inspired by famed astronaut a d space visionary Pete Conrad, faced each obstacle with renewed determination. The night before the first flight, a torrential monsoonal storm swept through the Tularosa Basin, flooding the launch site and causing significant wind damage to the mobile enclosure housing the DC-X. The moonwalker was undaunted. "We have the opportunity to make history here today. We have a whole bunch of people coming to see us fly this afternoon. It will not be easy, but if anybody can do it, it's us. Let's not give up without trying," he said and then picked up a shovel and started cleaning out one of the trenches at the site that had been filled with sand and water by the storm....

Air Force Major Jess Sponable, a Government Program Manager for the DC-X project [said,] "Since the inception of the DC-X program Pete Conrad had advocate that we put a cockpit in the nose of the DC-X and let him fly the vehicle as the pilot....

"[Shortly after the first flight landed] we got some hydrogen under the lip of the nose cone and it caught on fire, also igniting the recovery parachute in the nose....

"After the fire was out and all was calm, Pete ... rolled back in his chair. He turned to me and drawled, 'I'm just as glad you didn't let me fly in the nose.' From that day forward Pete was the strongest possible advocate of the value of autonomous operations."



See previously featured quotes on the following pages:
        Voices Archives
for the current year
        2018 Voices Archives
        [2017 Voices Archives were lost in a computer crash]
        2016 Voices Archives
        2015 Voices Archives
        2014 Voices Archives
        2013 Voices Archives
        2012 Voices Archives
        2011 Voices Archives


Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.


Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is
© Loretta Hall 2010-2019.

For more information about New Mexico's contributions to space exploration, visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
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For more information about New Mexico's contributions to space exploration, visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History.