We are thrilled to see the reception The $2 Dollar Bill Documentary is getting from film festivals and critics. And it features many of the bills from The Jefferson Space Museum and their story. It's a great film that is available for pre-order on DVD, and making appearances across the country. Click on the movie poster below for more information and to find out about local screens.
Today, 50 years ago, at Edwards Air Force Base, Joe Engle flew X-15 No. 3 to 53 miles (280,600ft) and became the third Air Force winged astronaut (and the youngest pilot to receive astronaut wings). And...this dollar bill, which is a part of the Jefferson Space Museum's Dollar Gallery, was, amazingly, along for the ride! Read all about it here.
The X-15, built by North American Aviation, was a rocket-powered, winged aircraft operated jointly by the USAF and NASA. The X-15 established speed and altitude records in the 1960's -- and still holds the official world's speed record for a manned, powered aircraft at 4,520 m.p.h. Of 199 overall flights with three X-15 aircraft, 13 exceeded 50 miles in altitude -- the USAF definition of the edge of space in the 1960's -- and two of the 13 reached 60 miles, the standard international definition of the edge of space.
On this particular flight, USAF Captain Joe Engle reached a top speed of 3,431 m.p.h. Congratulations, Joe!
The flown dollar bill in our collection is the only known, pilot certified flown dollar bill to appear on the market from the X-15 program, and certainly the only one from one of the thirteen X-15 USAF designated space flights.
Fifty years ago today, Gus Grissom and John Young opened the door on America's Gemini space program, ushering in the first two-manned crew mission. Gemini was an important milestone in the US march toward landing on the moon -- testing out important aspects of space flight from longer duration space flight effects on humans, to docking, rendezvous, and EVA's (or "space walks"). Taken aboard the flight on behalf of the ground crew, the historic two dollar bills that flew are also part of history as one of the greatest "gotchas" of the Gemini program. Read about it more in the $2 Dollar Bill Gallery entry for Gemini 3.