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Smith Ranch Lake DZ
Part of Edwards Family
Air-launched rocket drop zone. RW03/21 used for emergency landings.

AKA: Smith Ranch Lake DZ RW03/21. Longitude: -117.4937 deg. Latitude: 39.3135 deg.



Family: Air Drop Zone. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: X-15. Launch Sites: Smith Ranch Lake DZ.

1963 July 19 - . 18:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008.
  • X-15A VO,UVP,IR,HS,Balloon Test/Technology/Ultraviolet Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 106 km (65 mi).

    Maximum Speed - 5969 kph. Maximum Altitude - 106010 m. Astronaut wings flight. 80 cm diameter balloon dragged on 30 m line to measure air density. First X-15 astronaut flight (FAI definition); fourth astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ.


1963 August 22 - . 18:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A VO,Spectrom,Photom Test/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 107 km (66 mi). Unofficial world altitude record. Maximum Speed - 6105 kph. Maximum Altitude - 107960 m. Second X-15 astronaut flight (FAI definition); fifth astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1966 September 8 - . 18:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. FAILURE: Emergency landing at Smith Ranch..
  • X-15A HS/Elec loads test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 22 km (13 mi). Premature engine shutdown at 38 sec. Maximum Speed - 2578 kph. Maximum Altitude - 22310 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1966 November 1 - . 21:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A MuMet/DCR/SB Meteorological/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 93 km (57 mi). Maximum Speed - 6034 kph. Maximum Altitude - 93540 m. Astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1967 June 29 - . 18:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. FAILURE: Loss of both APU's and all electrical power..
  • X-15A WTR/HS/ASAS Test/Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 52 km (32 mi). Electrical failure while climbing through 32610 m; lost engine at 69 seconds; landed at Mud Lake with no flaps; Knight injured while exiting aircraft. Maximum Speed - 4618 kph. Maximum Altitude - 52730 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1967 October 4 - . 17:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A UV Plume/Solar/MM Technology/Meteor/Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi). Maximum Speed - 7270 kph. Maximum Altitude - 76530 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1967 October 17 - . 16:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008.
  • X-15A UVPL/Solar/MM Technology/Meteor/Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi). Maximum Speed - 6204 kph. Maximum Altitude - 85500 m. Astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1968 June 12 - . 15:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008.
  • X-15A WTR/SA TPS/HS/FAB Test/Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 67 km (41 mi). Maximum Speed - 5733 kph. Maximum Altitude - 67090 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1968 September 13 - . 18:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A WTR/HS/SB/FAB/FP Test/Technology/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 77 km (47 mi). Maximum Speed - 5990 kph. Maximum Altitude - 77450 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1968 October 24 - . 17:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A WTR/HS/FAB/FP Test/Technology/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 77 km (47 mi). Last flight. Maximum Speed - 5979 kph. Maximum Altitude - 77720 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..


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