My turn! Well over a thousand rejections overall. One of the most popular stories in my book was rejected 94 times before a journal published it. Several other stories in the 70-80 rejection range. Don't even get me started on novel manuscripts. #ShareYourRejections
Neil Armstrong took his first rocket-powered flight (of 4, total) in the X-1B #OTD in 1957. He then became one of the first 3 @NASA research pilots to fly the X-15 (also rocket-powered). Here's Neil pictured in the cockpit of the X-15.