Astronaut Joe Engle Exhibit Opens at EAA Aviation Museum

Engle with the X-15A-2 aircraft in 1965. NASA photo

PRESS RELEASE -The personal archives and memorabilia of astronaut Joe Engle, the only person to participate in the X-15, Apollo, and space shuttle programs, will go on display at the EAA Aviation Museum on June 4, after Joe and Jeanie Engle donated the collection to the EAA Aviation Foundation in 2020.

The Engles will participate in a brief dedication and ribbon cutting for the display, adjacent to The Borman Collection on the museum’s main level, honoring Gemini and Apollo astronaut Frank Borman. It further exemplifies the connection between aviation and the pioneers of spaceflight, who came from the nation’s corps of top test pilots and aviators.

“The personal archives donated to EAA by Joe and Jeanie Engle are especially important because of the breadth of experiences they had in the programs that stretched the boundaries of flight,” said Ron Connolly, director of the EAA Aviation Museum. “Joe’s X-15 experience in the 1960s took us to the edge of space, followed by his experience training in the Apollo program and his leadership in the testing and early missions of the space shuttle that helped create the ongoing manned space efforts that continue today.”

Joe Engle is a member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, having been inducted into both in 2001. His personal archives coming to EAA include memorabilia from his careers in NASA as well as the U.S. Air Force, where he participated in both the USAF Test Pilot School and the Aerospace Research Pilot School. Engle was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1966, and served as support crew and capcom for Apollo 10 and backup lunar module pilot and capcom for Apollo 14.

Official portrait of STS-2 crewmembers Joe H. Engle (commander), left, and Richard H. Truly (pilot) posing in ejection escape suits (EES) with a model of the space shuttle. NASA photo

Engle later commanded space shuttle approach and test flights in 1977 and served as commander of the second space shuttle flight, STS-2, in 1981 and the STS-51I shuttle flight of the shuttle Discovery in 1985.

Jeanie Engle has an impressive NASA career as well, having served as the Johnson Space Center’s Chief Knowledge Officer for eight of her more than 30 years there. She also served as Johnson Space Center’s Chief Information Officer and Deputy IT Security Manager during her career.

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