(2024 January 27) In the Line of Duty: Michael Adams and the X-15

When:  Jan 27, 2024 from 11:00 to 16:00 (PT)
Associated with  Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section

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AIAA LA-LV Section Meeting 1/27

Saturday, January 27, 2024

In the Line of Duty:

Michael Adams and the X-15


Ms. Michelle Evans

(The speaker will present in person)

Author, Bestseller "The X-15 Rocket Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space"

Founder and President, Mach 25 Media (www.Mach25Media.com)

AIAA Distinguished Speaker

Writer, Photographer, and Communications Specialist in aerospace

(Free Admission. Open to Public. Online registration required for logistics. Lunch not provided by AIAA LA-LV Section. Welcome to bring own lunch. Donation is highly for covering the event expenses / student scholarship.)


Michelle Evans is the founder of Mach 25 Media (www.Mach25Media.com) and is a writer, photographer, and communications specialist in aerospace. She has written the bestselling book “The X-15 Rocket Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space” which was published by the University of Nebraska Press as part of their “Outward Odyssey, People's History of Spaceflight” series.

Michelle's background in aerospace engineering includes serving in the US Air Force working on missile systems, and later in private industry accomplishing environmental testing for systems used in airliners and spacecraft. Her current work primarily involves exciting audiences about space exploration by speaking of the X-15 and other areas of the space program at venues across the country, as well as overseas.

Michelle is a Distinguished Speaker with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and her book on the X-15 was a finalist for the Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Literature. Michelle received the Diverse Community Leader Award from Orange County Human Relations, and was recognized as number 3 on the Orange County Register’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Orange County. She has appeared in numerous publications, including Air & Space Smithsonian, Ad Astra, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. Michelle had feature stories about her life in both Time and Newsweek magazines. She was a technical consultant on the Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man,” and has consulted with National Geographic television for “The Real Right Stuff.”


In the Line of Duty: Michael Adams and the X-15

The X-15 rocket plane was America’s premiere experimental research aircraft. It became the first manned craft to reach hypersonic velocities, and to create a new class of astronauts, ones who flew wings into space rather than rockets. The twelfth and final of these pilot/astronauts was Major Michael Adams from the US Air Force.

As soon as the first group of American astronauts was announced in 1959, Adams knew where his career would take him. He was twice forestalled in his attempts to reach space. First by losing a slot in the second group of American astronauts because of injuries sustained in an F-104 ejection, then by being chosen for the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory, which was canceled when politics entered the fray.

Adams saw the X-15 as his new pathway to space, and was quickly accepted into that elite group, which included such legendary test pilots as Scott Crossfield, Joe Walker, and Neil Armstrong. Mike Adams was the only X-15 pilot to lose his life while flying the program. Because of this, few people know of him


Michelle Evans’ research for her book, “The X-15 Rocket Plane, Flying the First Wings into Space” led her to interview nearly 70 people connected to the program, including Adams’ wife, children, brother, and friends. Her unique perspective has been able to honor Major Michael J. Adams, and to bring him to life as one of the X-15 astronauts in her fascinating presentation.


Norwalk Regional Library, in the Meeting Room

12350 Imperial Hwy

Norwalk, CA 90650

Google Maps: https://maps.app.goo.gl/41e8HHfPZd7EavSE6

(This event is not sponsored by the Norwalk Library)

(East of 5 Hwy / 605 Hwy, South of 60 Hwy / 605 Hwy, North of 5 Hwy / 91 Hwy, and West of 57 Hwy. Near the junction of 5 Hwy / Imperial Hwy and 5 Hwy / Norwalk Blvd.)


(Free Library Parking in the Library Parking Lot on the back side of the library.)


Saturday, January 27, 2024, 11:15 AM - 2:30 PM PDT

Introduction/Presentation starts at 12:55 PM / 1:00 PM

Dress Code

No open-toe shoes (except for medical purposes or needs)


events.aiaalalv@gmail.com or (949)426-8175 (phone/text ok) (AIAA LA-LV Events/Program)

Coordinating Organization: 

Tentative Agenda: (All Time PST (GMT -0800))

11:00 am PST: Check-in, Networking.

11:30 am PST: Documentary film "Research Project X-15" (25 minutes)

12:00 pm PST: Lunch for those who bring own's lunch. Networking. Book-signing

12:55 pm PST: Welcome and Introduction

01:00 pm PST: Presentations and Q&A

02:30 pm PST: Documentary film "The Rocket Pilots" (75 minutes), commentary/further Q&A

04:00 pm PST: Adjourn. Networking.

05:00 pm PST: Leave meeting room by 5 pm.

Disclaimer: The views of the speakers do not represent the views of AIAA or the AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Los Angeles - Las Vegas Section


Norwalk Regional Library, in the Meeting Room
12350 Imperial Hwy
Norwalk, CA 90650