Science: Nearest to Space

The Air Force would not confirm it. At a press conference last week Defense Secretary Wilson muttered, "I think we have talked too much about it." But the news had spread nevertheless along the quick-acting grapevine that connects aviation centers. The Bell X-2 rocket plane, insisted the grapevine, had flown to 126,000 ft. (23.9 miles), beating the official record of the X-1A by nearly 6.8 miles. Nothing firm had leaked about the details of the flight. One air-industry rumor held that the X-2 had merely been trying for 100,000 ft., and that it...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!