Sixty years ago this month, test-pilot Chuck Yeager climbed into the cockpit of the razor winged Bell X-1 rocket plane, took off from Edwards Air Force Base, and flew faster than the speed of sound. Since that historic flight, everything has changed about aviation--people fly across the continent and the oceans in ways that would have been unimaginable to people just a generation before. KPCC's Nick Roman talks to a panel of aviation and space exploration experts at Edwards Air Force Base, which remains one of the world's most important centers of aviation and space research, about the past and future of man's journey into the sky.
* General Chuck Yeager, in 1947...the fastest man alive. A living legend. Who, besides breaking the sound barrier and testing innumerable aircraft, shot down a German jet in his P-51 during WWII. The world's most famous living aviator.
* Mat Kaplan, Host and producer of Planetary Radio, the weekly radio program from The Planetary Society.
* James Young, base historian. Dr. Young has produced 23 full-length film/video documentaries and co-produced more than 250 shorter video briefings during his tenure at Edwards. He's written innumerable articles about high-speed flight testing. He also taught history at USC and Cal State LA. Nobody knows the history of Edwards better than "Doc Young."