Major Mike Adams, U. S. Air Force has finally received the recognition he deserves in the annals of modern aerospace and astronautics.
Major Adams became the first fatality morning of Nov. 15, 1967, while conducting his first sub-orbital mission in space. He had previously completed six atmospheric flights in the X-15.
The crash was due to technical problems which first developed during the ascent portion of his flight. Later during his the “Zero G” and early reentry phases, problems again occurred and resulted in Major Adams being the first in history to be involved in a hypersonic spin. Because of his excellent piloting skills and the inherent stability of the X-15 he was able to regain control, but the high G- forces encountered during the spin had overloaded the computer assisted aerodynamics and reaction flight control systems and plunged the X-15 into another spin from which the X-15 could not recover
Due to the loss of the Apollo 1 crew the previous January not much mention was made of this tragedy by NASA who was preparing for the Apollo 7 flight, and Major Adams and the 10th space flight of the X-15 became by a footnote in the history of the U. S. Space program. In 1991, when the Astronaut Memorial was dedicated at Kennedy Space Center, Major Adams name was included on a corner of the stone. Unfortunately no mention of who he was or how he died appears on the monument.
An Eagle Scout by the name of John Bodylski, of Tustin, California, with the help of Major Greg Frazier, aerospace historians were responsible for getting this monument installed. With the help of dozens of volunteers they erected the monument which weighs nearly two tons and an engraved plaque make for Inoconel X- the material the X-15 was constructed of, was placed on the monument. The plaque has Major Adams picture and the story of the event engraved upon it.
ON HIGWAY 395 BETWEEN JOHANNESBURG AND RED MOUNTAIN TURN ON THE TRONA ROAD TURNOFF AND PROCEED 4.1 MILES NORTH AND THEN TURN LEFT (EAST) ON DIRT ROAD AND PROCEED ½ MILE.
WHEN YOU REACH THE TRUCK CAB BODY VEER TO THE RIGHT AND FOLLOW ROAD AROUND TO THE BACK OF THE TRUCK CAB.