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William H. Dana

Résumé
William Harvey Dana (November 3, 1930 – May 6, 2014) was an American aeronautical engineer, U.S. Air Force pilot, NASA test pilot, and astronaut. He was one of twelve pilots who flew the North American X-15, an experimental spaceplane jointly operated by the Air Force and NASA. He was also selected for participation in the X-20 Dyna-Soar program. On two separate flights, Dana flew the X-15 to an altitude above 50 miles, thereby qualifying as an astronaut according to the United States definition of the boundary of space; however, neither flight exceeded the Kármán line, the internationally accepted boundary of 100 kilometers (62 miles). Dana was born in Pasadena, California on November 3, 1930. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy in 1952 and served four years as a pilot in the United States Air Force. He joined NASA on October 1, 1958, after receiving a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Dana married his wife Judi in 1962, and they had four children. From 1960 through 1962 he was a pilot astronaut in the U.S. Air Force X-20 Dyna-Soar program. That program was canceled before the vehicle flew, but Dana later tested several other lifting-body space vehicle projects. He made one of the earliest flights in the plywood M2-F1, and flew the HL-10, the M2-F3, and the X-24B. He made the highest-ever flight in a lifting body, to 90,303 feet, in the HL-10. He also made the final powered flight of a lifting body, in the X-24B (1975). Dana began as an engineer on the North American X-15 program. He progressed to chase pilot, and finally as project pilot on the hypersonic research aircraft. He flew the rocket-powered vehicle 16 times, reaching a top speed of 3,897 mph. His peak altitude of 307,000 feet (nearly 59 miles high) technically qualified him for the Astronaut Badge, although he was not formally recognized as an astronaut until 2005. He was the pilot on the final (199th) flight of the 10-year program.
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