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After reaching and breaking the sound barrier in 1947, and breaking Mach2 (twice the speed of sound) in 1953, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed. The 1958 Space Act was signed, establishing NASA as the organization responsible for both aeronautics and astronautics.
H. Julian Allen develops the blunt body reentry theory (1951)
NASA is formed (Oct. 1, 1958)
Between 1959 and 1969, 199 flights were made by three X-15 aircraft. This program produced the data to help scientist on the problems of heating with aerodynamics, high temperature materials, and the first space suits.