At the Edge of Space

The X-15 Flight Program

Publisher: Smithsonian Books
In At the Edge of Space, Milton O. Thompson tells the dramatic story of one of the most successful research aircraft ever flown. The first full-length account of the X-15 program, the book profiles the twelve test pilots (Neil Armstrong, Joe Engle, Scott Crossfield, and the author among them) chosen for the program. Thompson has translated a highly technical subject into readable accounts of each pilot's participation, including many heroic and humorous anecdotes and highlighting the pilots' careers after the program ended in 1968.


“Thompson brings the era to life, describing the triumph and tragedy of the pilots and technicians that worked on perhaps the country’s most ambitious Xplane testing program.”—Sky & Telescope

“Thompson is especially strong in describing the human dimension of the X-15 effort, enlivening the narrative with both heroic and humorous anecdotes.”—Air Power History

“Couldn’t put it down.”—U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings

“Thompson’s well-written history of the program captures the technical challenges, the camaraderie and, most of all, the high adventure of X-15 flight. Highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly

“. . . a very worthwhile book.”—New Scientist