Thursday, May 17, 2007

Michael James 'Mike' Adams 1930-1967

Michael Adams was born in Sacramento, California on 5 May 1930. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 after graduation from Sacramento Junior College and earned his pilot wings and commission in 1952 at Webb AFB, Texas. Adams served as a fighter-bomber pilot during the Korean conflict, followed by 30 months with the 813th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at England AFB, Louisiana and six months rotational duty at Chaumont Air Base in France. In 1958, Adams received an aeronautical engineering degree from Oklahoma University and, after 18 months of astronautics study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was selected in 1962 for the Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California. Here, he won the Honts Trophy as the best scholar and pilot in his class.

Adams subsequently attended the Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS), graduating with honors in December 1963. He was one of four Edwards aerospace research pilots to participate in a five-month series of NASA moon landing practice tests at the Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland.

In July 1966, Major Adams came to the X-15 program, a joint USAF/NASA project. He made his first X-15 flight on 6 October 1966 in the number one aircraft. Adams' seventh and final X-15 flight took place on 15 November 1967 in the number three aircraft.He was killed in the crash of this aircraft. Mike Adams was posthumously awarded Astronaut Wings for his last flight in the X-15-3, which had attained an altitude of 266,000 feet - 50.38 miles.