Joe H. Engle, US Air Force. X-15 Pilot No. 8.

courtesy North American Aviation

Vice President Hubert Humphrey (left photo) visited Edwards. Joe Engle served as a docent (right photo).

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center and National Museum of the US Air Force

First of two photos from high altitude on the X-15. The thin line of Earth's atmosphere.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Las Vegas area with the Colorado River winding toward the right from 155,000 feet.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Dr. Wernher von Braun checks out the view from the X-15 cockpit: 30 Nov. 1961.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Engle lands X-15 No. 1 after a run to Mach 4.75: 1-41-65 on 14 Nov. 1963.

courtesy NASA Headquarters

Engle is in X-15 No. 3, but would not launch this day: 3-A-56 on 23 Sep. 1964.

courtesy North American Aviation

Engle pulls away from the B-52's shadow after launch: 3-35-57 on 28 Sep. 1964.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Right-side upper vertical tail ablative test sample (pink area): 3-41-64 on 23 Apr. 1965.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Preparing for launch on Engle's final X-15 flight: 1-61-101 on 14 Oct. 1965.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Bob Rushworth with Engle: Aug. 1965.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

Engle, Rushwortth, McKay, Knight, Thompson, and Dana: 2 Dec. 1965.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

You Tube documentary about Operation Desert Strike, which affected X-15 operations, as described in chapter 8 of "The X-15 Rocket Plane."

Engle is greeted on the lakebed after a flight by his wife, Mary.

courtesy author's collection

Engle with wife, Mary, and children, Jon and Laurie.

courtesy author's collection

Cast and crew of the "Star Trek" television series visit NASA at Edwards: 13 Apr. 1967.

courtesy Armstrong Flight Research Center

The women of NASA in front of X-15 No. 3. They served as the "computers."

courtesy Tahir Rahman collection

The X-15 soars toward space.

courtesy author's collection

Ballistic control system jets fire in the nose and wing to stabilize the X-15's attitude in space, providing a stable platform for experiments, as well as safe control for reentry.

computer art courtesy Thommy Eriksson

The patch created by the Apollo 14 backup crew of Engle, Cernan, and Evans.

courtesy author's collection

Original Apollo 17 crew was to be Joe Engle, Gene Cernan, and Ron Evans.

courtesy author's collection

Space Shuttle Commander Joe H. Engle with Richard H. Truly: STS-2 in Nov. 1981.

courtesy NASA Headquarters

Joe Engle bringing home Space Shuttle Columbia: 14 Nov. 1981.

photo by the author

Joe Engle lands Space Shuttle Discovery at the end of mission STS-51I: 3 Sep. 1985.

photo by the author