What American made it into space but not the orbit?
Several Americans have flown on sub-orbital spaceflights. A sub-orbital spaceflight is a flight that takes aspacecraft into space (Over 100 km or 62 miles above sea level) but not into orbit. Because the spacecraft doesn't achieve orbit, it falls back to Earth. In the United States, 3 different types of craft have flown on sub-orbital flights. The first was the Mercury capsule, launched on a Redstone missile. These launched the first two Americans (Alan Shepard and Virgil Grissom) into space in 1961. Later, four orbital Mercury flights sent the first Americans into orbit using Atlas missiles. The second sub-orbital craft was the X-15 rocket plane. Although many X-15 flights were conducted, only flights 90 and 91 (both conducted by pilot Joseph A. Walker in 1963) went above 62 miles in altitude. The final craft was the SpaceShipOne. The SpaceShipOne was the first civilian-built spacecraft to successfully fly. It conducted 3 sub-orbital flights (Two by pilot Mike Melvill and one by pilot Brian Binnie) in 2004. Several private companies are currently working to create a new sub-orbital craft to send tourists into space.