ASTRONAUTS Three of the five NASA test pilots who flew the North American X-15 rocketplane into space 40 years ago finally became astronauts on 23 August at a ceremony at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, California. Astronaut wings were awarded to William Dana and posthumously to John McKay and Joseph Walker. They flew higher than the 264,000ft (80,500m) the US Air Force considers the start of space. The other two NASA X-15 pilots are Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong and Milton Thompson, who reached a maximum altitude of 214,100ft.

Source: Flight International