A Lifting Body and a 'Misty' Launch

Two space history anniversaries today:

Forty years ago today — May 9, 1969 — John A. Manke flew the HL-10 lifting body in its first supersonic flight at the Dryden Flight Research Facility at Edwards Air Force Base.

(HL-10 on the Edwards AFB lakebed, with B-52 flyover. NASA photo ECN-2203. Click to enlarge.)

And fifteen years ago — May 9, 1994 — a Scout rocket launched from Vandenberg AFB carrying the second Miniature Sensor Technology Integration spacecraft: MSTI-2, pronounced “Misty-two.” I was stationed at Vandy at the time, though I confess I don’t remember that particular launch.

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0 Responses to A Lifting Body and a 'Misty' Launch

  1. Gray Rinehart says:

    I had completely forgotten about your work on MSTI. That’s cool. And I’m not surprised at all to learn that such a “fast track” program actually ran faster than I thought. Great stuff! Thanks for adding it.

  2. dbergeron says:

    I was on the original MSTI team. We had planned 7 suborbital flights to test different sensor technology that was used to witness intercepts. We actually flew two. While all were deemed successful, we never were able to view the intercepts. The bus was always looking the wrong direction. We went from idea to flight in 7 1/2 months on the first one.
    The crew out at Edwards (Alan Weston et al, with the support of Rich Matlock in DC) leapfrogged the other five flights in order to build a satellite integration facility. They built the facility in order to justify staying at Edwards rather than moving to Kirtland AFB. The facility was built without the knowledge of any of the higher ups at Kirtland until after they “unveiled” it.
    Sometimes the backstory is more interesting than the flight itself.