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Each year, millions of visitors flock to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to look at the Bell X-1 aircraft-the vehicle in which Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. This in-depth look at the legendary aircraft tells the story of this momentous achievement-how the technology was developed, conflicts were resolved, and Yeager and his fellow pilots became the heroic figures depicted in The Right Stuff. A wealth of historical photographs of the Bell X-1 enriches the text, which includes such fascinating material as Yeager's official memo about the historic flight. This is as close as readers will ever get to being inside the aircraft that paved the way for supersonic flight, thus ushering in the era of space exploration.