Russell L. Rogers

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Russell L. Rogers
Russell Lee Rogers.jpg
Born(1928-04-12)April 12, 1928
DiedSeptember 13, 1967(1967-09-13) (aged 39)
Other namesRussell Lee Rogers
Alma materUniversity of Colorado, B.S. 1958
OccupationTest pilot
Space career
USAF Astronaut
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
Selection1960 Dyna-Soar Group 1

Russell Lee Rogers (April 12, 1928 – September 13, 1967), (Lt Col, USAF), was an American electrical engineer, U.S. Air Force officer, test pilot, and astronaut in the X-20 Dyna-Soar program.

Early life and education[edit]

Rogers was born on April 12, 1928, in Lawrence, Kansas.[1] He received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1958.[2] He was married with five children.[3]

Test pilot[edit]

Rogers flew 142 missions as a fighter pilot during the Korean War.[4]: 3  As a USAF Test Pilot School graduate,[5] he was an experimental test pilot at Edwards AFB, California. During this assignment, Rogers served as a key member of the team that tested the Northrop T-38 Talon jet trainer.[6] He was also a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.[7] In April 1960, he was selected for the X-20 program.[2] After several years supporting the Boeing-led program as a pilot consultant,[4]: 4  Rogers left the X-20 program on December 10, 1963, when it was cancelled.[8]: 3 [9]: xxv–xxvi 

After the X-20 program, he remained in the U.S. Air Force on active flight duty as a pilot[2] and was commander of the 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron with the rank of Lt. Colonel at the time of his death.[10]


Rogers was killed when the engine of his F-105 fighter plane failed near Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan on September 13, 1967.[2] He ejected from his aircraft, but his parachute failed to deploy properly. He was 39 years old.


  1. ^ United States Astronauts. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 1963. p. 75. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Astronauts and Cosmonauts Biographical and Statistical Data. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 1975. p. 107. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  3. ^ "Mary Ann Rogers Obituary". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. December 29, 2001. Retrieved April 18, 2021 – via
  4. ^ a b Jury, William (November 1963). "Saddle The Dragon". Boeing Magazine. Vol. XXXIII, no. 11. Seattle, Washington: The Boeing Company. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  5. ^ Eppley, Charles V. (March 1963). "History of the USAF Experimental Flight Test School 4 February 1951 – 12 October 1961" (PDF). Fort Belvoir, Virginia: Defense Technical Information Center. pp. 24–25. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 1, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2021. Rogers graduated with class 58-C
  6. ^ Miller, Ed Mack (March 1, 1961). "This Trainer Can GO, GO, GO". Arlington, Virginia: Air Force Association. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  7. ^ Gron, Susan (August 2, 2022). "List of Deceased SETP Members". The Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  8. ^ Shayler, David J.; Snowdon, Philip W. (January 1981). "America's Forgotten Astronauts". Spaceflight. Vol. 23, no. 1. London, England: British Interplanetary Society. ISSN 0038-6340. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  9. ^ Shayler, David; Burgess, Colin (2017). The last of NASA's original pilot astronauts. Springer International. ISBN 9783319510149. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  10. ^ "12 Special Operations Squadron (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. United States Air Force. October 29, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2021.

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